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Corporates donated Rs 957 crore parties; builders remain biggest donors

Corporates donated Rs 957 crore parties; builders remain biggest donors

The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said that Rs 956.77 crore was received by five political parties - BJP, Congress, NCP, CPI and CPI (M).

Of this amount, the BJP received Rs 705.81 crore from 2,987 donors, with the Congress a distant second at Rs 198.16 crore from 167 corporate donors.

The BJP declared receiving Rs 193.62 crore from the Trust, while the Congress got Rs 57.25 crore. They have to provide the donor's name, address, PAN, mode of payment and the amount contributed. Corporate donations during this fiscal alone forms 60% of the total corporate donations received between four fiscals. "It is seen from the analysis that various sectors of business houses, in four years, donated a total of Rs 956.77 cr, constituting 89% of the total contribution to political parties from known sources". For the same years, the Congress acquired Rs 7.545 crore, Rs 53.516 crore, Rs 128.11 crore and Rs 8.99 crore.

BJP Received Rs 705.81 Crore Corporate Donation
Source National Herald

The maximum corporate donations were received by the national parties in the financial year 2014-15 during which the Lok Sabha elections took place. Political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above 20,000 to the EC.

Interestingly, The Mayawati-led BSP was not considered for this report as the party has declared that it had received no voluntary contributions above Rs 20,000 between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

On the other hand, the "CPI and CPM have the lowest share of corporate donations at 4% and 17% respectively". The trust donated a total of 35 number of times in three years, amounting to Rs 260.87 crore.

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The parties which received funds include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), and Communist Party of India (Marxist). While it might have been expected that donors would shift their allegiances to the winning party, the BJP out-earned the Congress for seven of the ten years that it was out of power between 2004 and 2014.

Satya Electoral Trust was the highest donor to BJP, INC and NCP between FY 2013-14 and 2015-16, with BJP again topping the list.

Sastry, along with his colleague Jagdeep Chhokar, also criticised the government's move to introduce electoral bonds, whose anonymity clause would affect transparency of political funding.

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Top donors for the CPI (M) and the CPI were associations or unions. The Group of Companies (comprising eight firms) donated Rs 19.48 crore. National parties also received "Rs 355.08 crore from 1,546 donations which did not have address details in the contribution form", said the report, adding 99% of the donations with missing PAN details and addresses belonged to the BJP. "Contact details of most of these companies were unavailable in cases where they were visible online", read the report.

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