New Delhi: With rising burden on a common man’s shoulder on account of skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, an unusual rise in the funds of almost all major political parties has also been witnessed during past seven years. The poor state of the national economy doesn’t seem to have affected the financial health of the political parties.

Political parties managed to collect a whooping Rs. 4,662 crores as donations during 2004-11. Congress tops in the list by receiving donation worth Rs. 2,008 crores in the said period. It is interesting to note that in 2004, the Congress Party had mere Rs 222 crores in its fund.

Even opposition parties have accumulated heavy funds during this period, though; they are far behind the party in power at the Centre. BJP’s vault accounted Rs 307 in 2004 which went up three fold to Rs 994 crores in 2011. The money was collected from donation as well as from various other sources.

Party fund at a glance
•  ADR and NEW revealed income reports of 23 political parties
•  Congress tops the list, received donation worth Rs 2,008 cr
•  Congress had merely Rs 222 cr in 2004
•  BJP’s fund went up three fold to Rs 994 cr in 2011
•  BJP’s party fund was Rs 307 cr in 2004
•  81.47 % of BJP’s total fund came in the form of donations.
•  CPI (Marxist) collected Rs 417 cr
•  BSP joins the league with Rs 484 cr
•  SP follows with Rs 278 cr
•  18 regional parties have not given any info including National Conference, Trinamool Congress and Indian National Lokdal

Two NGOs, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) have released income reports of 23 political parties on the basis of the information collected through RTI. The NGOs have gathered the information from Election Commission and Income Tax department. According to the report, Congress earned majority of its fund by selling party coupons. Only 14.42 % of its fund was collected in the form of donations. On the other hand, 81.47 % of BJP’s total fund came in the form of donations from corporate houses.

The NGOs have dubbed the funds of various political parties as the “BLACK BOX”. Their report claims that the money collected by the political parties is the root cause of corruption in the country. Prof J Chhokar, a prominent member of ADR, has said that by regulating the fund raising drives of the political parties, acts of corruption in the political circle could largely be controlled.

General Electoral Trust (GIT) and Torrent Power Ltd, both subsidiary companies of Aditya Birla Group, have been making donations to both the Congress as well as the main opposition party BJP.

Interestingly, Communist party of India (Marxist) has collected Rs 417 crores during 2004-2011. The majority of its funds came from the people who donated less than Rs 20,000.  BSP joins the league with Rs 484 crores whereas Samajwadi party follows with Rs 278 crores. The report also says that 18 regional parties including National Conference from J&k, Trinmool Congress from West Bengal and Indian National Lokdal from Haryana have not given any information about their incomes.

(JPN/Bureau)

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