BJP got lion’s share in funds distributed by electoral trusts in 2022-23: ADR

BJP received ₹259.08 crore or 70.69% of total donations received by all political parties, while the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) got ₹90 crore or 24.56%, according to the NGO that works on electoral reforms

Updated - January 04, 2024 07:08 am IST

Published - January 04, 2024 06:30 am IST - NEW DELHI

BJP workers celebrate the party’s victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi. FILE

BJP workers celebrate the party’s victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi. FILE | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Five electoral trusts received a total of ₹366.49 crore in the 2022-23 financial year with the BJP receiving the lion’s share of the donations worth ₹259.08 crore, according to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Out of 18 approved electoral trusts, only five have declared receiving contributions from various corporate houses and individuals.

Electoral trusts were introduced by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2013. Just like the electoral bonds scheme, they were meant to facilitate donations to political parties by corporations and individuals. But while the electoral bonds scheme seeks to ensure anonymity for the donor, the electoral trusts are required to submit to the Election Commission (EC) a report on contributions from individuals and companies, and their donations to parties every year.

In 2022-23, as many as 13 out of 18 electoral trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) submitted their contribution details to the poll body and five of them received contributions from corporate and business houses, the ADR said.

While 34 corporate and business houses contributed over ₹360 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust, one company gave ₹2 crore to Samaj Electoral Trust, two companies ₹75.50 lakh to Paribartan Electoral Trust and two companies ₹50 lakh to Triumph Electoral Trust.

A total of 11 individuals have contributed to electoral trusts in 2022-23. While eight individuals contributed ₹2.70 crore to the Prudent Electoral Trust, three individuals contributed ₹8 lakh to the Einzigartig Electoral Trust.

BRS receives one-fourth of funds

Out of the total ₹366 crore received by these trusts, BJP received ₹259.08 crore or 70.69% of the total donations received by all political parties, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) received ₹90 crore or 24.56 per cent, YSR Congress, AAP and the Congress together got ₹17.40 crore.

According to the rules formulated by the government, electoral trusts are required to distribute at least 95% of the total contributions received during the financial year along with the surplus brought forward from the earlier financial year to the eligible political parties before March 31 of the said financial year. In 2022-23, the trusts distributed 99.99% of the amount to political parties.

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