54% of BJP’s total income came from electoral bonds

The ruling party’s total income rose to ₹2,361 crore in 2022-23 from ₹1,917 crore in 2021-22, according to the annual audit report of the BJP made public by the Election Commission

February 09, 2024 09:03 pm | Updated February 10, 2024 01:21 am IST - New Delhi

BJP flag. Image used for representative purpose only.

BJP flag. Image used for representative purpose only. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received ₹1,294.14 crore through electoral bonds in 2022-23, which was nearly 54% of its total income during the year, and seven times higher than that of its main rival, the Congress party.

The ruling party’s total income rose to ₹2,361 crore in the year 2022-23 from ₹1,917 crore in 2021-22, according to the annual audit report of the BJP made public by the Election Commission of India (EC) on Thursday.

Also read | Electoral Bonds chief source of donations for political parties: Report

The party got ₹2,120.06 crore from donations (including electoral bonds), while income from bank interest was ₹237.3 crore, compared to the previous fiscal’s ₹133.3 crore. The party spent ₹1,092.15 crore for elections, which is five times more than what the Congress spent. In 2021-22, the BJP had spent ₹645.85 crore.

The BJP’s election expenditure, among others, included ₹432.14 crore spent on advertisements and ₹78.22 crore spent on hiring aircraft and helicopters. Another ₹75.05 crore was given as financial assistance to candidates while press conferences cost ₹71.60 lakh.

The Congress on the other hand saw its total receipts reduce to ₹452.37 crore in 2022-23 from ₹541.27 crore in 2021-22. It spent ₹192.55 crore on elections and ₹71.83 crore for Rahul Gandhi’s Kanyakumari to Kashmir “Bharat Jodo Yatra” in 2022-23 while its donations through electoral bonds declined ₹171.02 crore from ₹236.09 crore in the previous year.

Also Read | Congress questions BJP receiving three times more funds than all parties put together through electoral bonds

In July last year, the EC had launched a new web portal to enable political parties to file their financial accounts online. The twin objectives of this according to the poll body had been to facilitate political parties in overcoming the difficulties in physical filing of reports, and secondly, to ensure timely filing of financial statements in the prescribed/standardised formats.

In a letter to the political outfits, the EC had pointed to the pivotal position of political parties, and stressed that it is incumbent on them to adhere to the principles of democratic functioning and transparency in electoral processes, particularly in financial disclosures.

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