Financing political parties
A joint press release by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch reports:
- The top 5 political parties with the highest total income between FY 2004-05 and FY 2010-11 (last 7 years) are: INC: Rs 2008 Cr followed by BJP: Rs 994 Cr, BSP: Rs 484 Cr, CPM: Rs 417 Cr and SP: Rs 279 Cr.
- Donations and Voluntary Contributions seem to be one of the major sources of income for most of the political parties.
- However, donations from named contributors (i.e. contributors who made donations above Rs 20,000 which is to be mandatorily declared) form a very small percentage of total Income of political parties. Of the National Parties for FY 2009-2010 and FY 2010-2011, BJP’s donations from named donors amount to 22.76% of the total income. INC has shown a mere 11.89% of their income from contributions, followed by NCP with 4.64% and CPM, 1.29%
- Bahujan Samaj Party has declared that it has not received any donations above Rs 20,000 in FY 2009-2010 and FY 2010-2011 even though its total income for the two years is Rs 172.67 Cr.
- CPI has shown 57.02% of total Income from donations above Rs 20,000
- Out of the Regional Parties analyzed for FY 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has 99.98% of its income coming from donations followed by Janata Dal (United) with 95.96% and Lok Janshakti Party with 89.88%.
- Rashtriya Janata Dal (56.13%) and Telugu Desham Party (37%) derive maximum income from donations above Rs 20,000.
- BJP had the maximum number of donors donating above Rs 20000 for FY 2009-2010 (279) and FY 2010-2011 (502) while for INC it was 226 in 2009-2010 and 417 in 2010-2011.
- Several Electoral Trusts are now making contributions to Poitical Parties. They include trusts like the General Electoral Trust, the Public and Political Awareness Trust, Bharti Electoral Trust, Electoral Trust, Harmony Electoral Trust, Satya Electoral Trust, Chowgule Charitable Trust and the Corporate Electoral Trust
- The trust which has made the maximum contributions to the political parties is the General Electoral Trust with contributions of Rs 36.46 Cr to INC between FY 2003-04 and 2010-11 and Rs 26.07 Cr to the BJP during the same time.
- Similar to the Electoral Trusts, several companies/corporates have donated to the Political Parties between the FYs 2003-04 and 2010-11 a few of which are Torrent Power Ltd, Asianet TV Holding Pvt.Ltd., Sterlite Industries, ITC Ltd, Videocon Industries Ltd, Larsen & Tubro Ltd, Infrastructure Development & Consultant (I) (P) Ltd, Russel Credit Ltd
- The top ten companies [sic] which made the maximum contributions are the Torrent Power Ltd donating Rs 14.15 Cr to INC during the FYs 2003-04, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11 and Rs 13.00 Cr to BJP during the FYs 2007-08 to 2010-11.
- NCP is the only national party who [sic] has not submitted its contribution reports from FY 2004-2005 till FY 2006-2007. However, it has submitted its contribution reports from FY 2007-2008 till 2010-2011.
- 18 regional/state parties have never filed their contribution reports to the Election Commission from FY 2004-2005 till FY 2010-2011. Many of these defaulting political parties who have never filed their contribution reports for the mentioned time period are ruling parties/major opposition parties in their respective states. These are: J&K National Conference (Jammu & Kashmir) J&K Peoples Democratic Party (Jammu & Kashmir) All India Trinamool Congress (West Bengal) Indian National Lok Dal (Haryana) Asom Gana Parishad (Assam) Bodoland Peoples Front (Assam) Manipur State Congress Party (Manipur) Maharashtrawadi Gomantak (Goa) Save Goa Front (Goa) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Jharkhand) Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Jharkhand) Kerala Congress (Kerala) Muslim League Kerala State Committee (Kerala) United Democratic Party (Meghalaya) Mizo National Front (Mizoram) Mizoram Peoples Conference (Mizoram) Mizoram Nationalist Party (Mizoram) Nagaland Peoples Front (Nagaland)
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress makes common cause with political representatives of Bodos, Mizos, Nagas, Kashmiris and the adivasis of Jharkhand on this one issue at least.
A quick introduction to electoral trusts comes from Vicky Nanjappa’s blog:
In all a total of 25 companies have been named in the [coalgate] report in the CAG report and one among them is the Hindalco Industries, the flagship subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group. The other name mentioned in the CAG report was that of Tata Power which has also made political donations through its electoral trust.
The reason why this flagship group of the Aditya Birla group needs to be pointed out here is because it is one of the biggest donors to political parties through its General Electoral Trust. Interestingly the contribution to political parties by the Aditya Birla Group increased to Rs 30.5 crore in the year 2009-1010.
In the year 2007-08 the General Electoral Trust donated Rs 5 crore to the BJP. It was in the year 2009-2010 that the donation from this trust went up. During this period the General Electoral Trust donated Rs 13.95 crore to the Congress while Rs 16.60 crore was given to the BJP.
The other major donor to political parties is the Electoral Trust established by the Tatas which has donated Rs 9.79 crore. The Congress was given Rs 5.64 crore while the BJP got Rs 4.14 crore. The CAG on the coal scam had named Tata Power to be one of the beneficiaries in the coal scam.