Days after mulling a curb on anonymous donations to political parties, the Election Commission (EC) will write to tax authorities to probe the finances of 200 parties that don’t contest polls.
The EC fears these parties can be a key route for converting black money into white. The poll panel believes that most of them exist on paper to help people convert their black money into white by accepting donations.
Political parties can accept donations of up to Rs 20,000 without revealing the sources from each donor. The EC has, over a period of time, identified various parties that have not contested polls since 2005 and ‘delisted’ over 200 of them.
The latest plan comes amid the overall thrust to act against black money and days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scheme to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to check corruption and ill-gotten wealth.
Sources in the EC said it will shortly pass the list of these delisted parties to the income tax department and request them to act against them in case of any fraud. While the poll panel has a list of such suspicious political outfits, it, however, doesn’t have the power to act against them to bring them to book. It can’t even deregister such parties to choke their sources of income.
There are over 1,780 registered but unrecognised political parties in the country. Besides, there are seven national parties — BJP, Congress, BSP, TMC, CPI, CMI-M and NCP — and 58 state parties.
Seeking to stem the flow of black money in elections, the EC has proposed a slew of electoral reforms but most are pending with the government.(With agency inputs)