While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leads all parties with its declared income in five years — 2010-11 to 2014-15 — at Rs 2,446 crore, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leads the 46 regional parties on this count.
The AAP, formed at the end of 2012, got Rs 110 crore in two fiscals (2013-15), while the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the ruling party of Punjab locked in a bitter battle with the AAP, stood second with Rs 76 crore in the five financial years (2010-15). Among regional parties, the AAP led the fiscal 2014-15 alone too, with Rs 55 crore, while the SAD earned Rs 31 crore in that period, according to an analysis of the parties’ declarations by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO campaigning for transparency in politics.
There are six national parties and 46 recognised state parties in India having multiple sources of funding. They, as per law, only submit details of contribution received in excess of Rs 20,000 annually to the Election Commission.
As for Punjab and Chandigarh alone, the SAD received the highest donation at Rs 4.5 crore in the five years, followed by the BJP (Rs 59 lakh), and then the AAP (Rs 48 lakh), which is registered as regional party in Delhi as well. The Congress received Rs 20 lakh in five years from Punjab and Chandigarh.
National scene, and poll effect
Overall, the coffers of the Congress got Rs 2,280 crore in the five fiscals, that is, only Rs 166 crore less than the BJP. The BJP’s share in total income among the six national parties was 41.5%, and the Congress had 38.7%. The list also includes the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPI (M), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
While BJP’s income in 2010-11 fiscal was Rs 168 crore, the declared income of the Congress, then in power, was Rs 307 crore. The flow grew rapidly as Lok Sabha elections (May 2014) approached.
The BJP’s income in 2013-14 was Rs 674 crore while the Congress got Rs 598 crore. In the 2014-15 fiscal, Congress funds dipped slightly (Rs 593 crore), while the BJP hit Rs 970 crore.
In contrast, the income in 2007-10 (three fiscals) of the then ruling Congress was the highest (Rs 1,185 crore) among all national parties. The BJP was second then with Rs 601 crore.
However, among regional parties, the SAD declared only Rs 3 crore in donation in 2011-12 (assembly election year in Punjab) and the party did not receive any donation in the year before that. The only sources of income of the SAD in the five years in question were “party funds/membership fee and bank interest”. It got Rs 7 crore from corporate or business houses and Rs 4.4 crore from individuals.
Also, the ADR report says, the CPI and AAP were the only two parties which received donations from “undeclared donors.”
“Apart from collecting donations or voluntary contributions, it is seen from the income tax returns of parties that a few are collecting funds by issuing coupons in lieu of receipts to donors for cash contributions. It is possible that a lot of cash donations received remain unaccounted for,” said Jagdeep Chhokar, founder-member of the ADR here on Friday.
Top donors from Punjab
1) BJP got Rs 5 lakh from Bharat Insecticides (Narinder Mittal, Jalandhar), Rs 3 lakh each from Shri Sukhmani Dental College and Hospital, Desh Bhagat Dental College, Gian Sagar Dental College and National Dental College (Dera Bassi)
2) Congress got Rs 10 lakh from Amritsar Swadeshi Textile, Rs 2.5 lakh each from Eastman Industries, Ludhiana, Avon Cycles and Avon Ispat.
3) SAD got Rs 15 lakh from Janta Land Promoters Limited and Rs 11 lakh from Deep Malhotra, while from outside Punjab it got Rs 3 crore from Satya Electoral Trust, New Delhi, Rs 1 crore from Trig Detectives
“Apart from collecting donations or voluntary contributions, it is seen from the income tax returns of parties that a few are collecting funds by issuing coupons in lieu of receipts to donors for cash contributions. It is possible that a lot of cash donations received remain unaccounted for,” Jagdeep Chhokar, founder-member of the ADR, said.