The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised Rs 1,450.8 crore in donations through electoral bonds in financial year 2018-19, according to analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). This was out of the total Rs 2,410 crore is raised in FY19.
Its key rival, the Indian National Congress raised a total of Rs 918 crore via donations. Of this, Rs 383.2 crore came via electoral bonds.
Electoral bonds are a debt instrument that can be purchased from select branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) and donated to political parties.
The report suggests that out of the six national political parties – only BJP, Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress “declared receiving an income from contribution through electoral bonds, a total of Rs 1,931.43 crore” during FY19.
The Trinamool Congress received donations through electoral bonds worth Rs 97.2 crore. The party declared a total income of Rs 192.6 crore.
During the same period, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) declared a total income of Rs 100.9 crore and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Rs 69.7 crore.
The report suggests that BJP’s income jumped from Rs 1,027.3 crore in FY18 to Rs 2,410 crore. Congress’ income also jumped from Rs 199.1 crore to Rs 918 crore.
Sources of income
BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) and CPI declared receiving their highest income from donations/contributions in FY19. The saffron party declared ‘voluntary contributions’ of Rs 2,354 crore – that’s about 97.6 percent of its total income.
BSP and CPI(M) received highest income from bank interests (about Rs 38.8 crore), and through fee and subscription (around Rs 39.6 crore), respectively.
Also read: Data Story | Over 20% donations to national parties unaccounted for between FY13-18
BJP’s maximum expenditure during FY19 was towards election campaigns. It amounted to Rs 792.3 crore. Administrative costs (Rs 178.3 crore) were the second largest expense.
Congress also largely spent on election expenditure (around Rs 308.9 crore), followed by general expenditure of Rs 125.8 crore.