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Rs 76 crore to Rs 532 crore in a year: BJP bouncing on donations over 593%

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In its proclaimed donations the BJP has seen a 593 per cent increase, those that exceed Rs 20,000 — between 2016 and 2017, according to new data assessment by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW).

Where as the ruling party received Rs. 76.85 crore in donation during 2015-16, the amount raised to Rs. 532.27 crore in 2016-17. It has smashed Congress with the 10 times over proclaimed amount, which is second on the list when it comes to total donations received and has managed in the same time span.

The Congress received Rs 41.90 crore of proclaimed donations in 2016-17, which, however, is a 105 per cent increase from the Rs 20.42 crore it got in 2015-16.

Data says, the biggest leap has been by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which saw a 793 per cent raise in proclaimed donations, from Rs 71 lakh in FY 2015-16 to Rs 6.34 crore in FY 2016-17.

Only the Communist Party of India (CPI) saw a down fall in proclaimed donations — its amount dropped by around 9 per cent from Rs 1.58 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 1.44 crore in 2016-17.

The new report, which focuses on proclaimed donations received by the national political parties, is based on the data submitted by them to the Election Commission.

It found that the total proclaimed donations by the seven national parties — the BJP, Congress, BSP, NCP, CPI, CPM and the Trinamool Congress — raised by 478 per cent from Rs 102.02 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 589.38 crore in 2016-17.
The BJP alone has accounted for Rs 532.27 crore of the Rs 589.38 crore in 2016-17.

The report flagged donations from unknown sources, while suggesting political parties to provide a list of all their donors under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

While the proclaimed donations of all parties was Rs 589.38 crore in 2016-17 it found that the total income in the same period was Rs 1559.17 crore — of which 45.59 per cent came from unknown sources.

For the BJP, “voluntary contributions” made up 99.98 per cent of the total income from unknown sources, which totaled Rs 464.94 crore in 2016-17.

The “sale of coupons”, a practice followed by some political parties to collect donations from donors, made up 91.69 per cent of the total income from unknown sources. This was Rs 126.12 crore in 2016-17 for the Congress.

The report also professed that at least four parties — the BJP, Congress, CPI and CPM — provided incomplete information, in that all of them together did not proclaim the PAN details of at least 166 donations.

“The national and regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will go a long way in strengthening political parties, elections and democracy,” the report has recommended.

In a recent statement, the Election Commission had said that political parties are exterior the orbit of the RTI Act, even though a directive by the by the Central Information Commission (CIC) had proclaimed six national political parties as public authorities, meaning they were within the bounds of RTI.

Picture credits: NDTV