94.7% Of BJD’s Total Income From Unknown Sources; 2nd Highest Among Regional Parties
Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the ruling party of Odisha, is second among top five regional parties with Rs 291.096 crore collected from unknown sources in the financial year 2021-22, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO working for electoral reforms.
While DMK led with Rs 306.025 crore, TRS was third with Rs 153.037 crore, followed by YSR-Congress (Rs 60.0168 crore) and JDU (Rs 48.3617 crore).
The analysis said that total income of regional parties in 2021-22 amounted to Rs 1165.576 crore of which Rs Rs 887.551 crore or 76.147% was from unknown sources and 93.26% or Rs 827.76 crore of this came from electoral bonds. Besides ‘donations via electoral bonds’, unknown sources include ‘sale of coupons’, ‘relief fund’, ‘miscellaneous income’, ‘voluntary contributions’, ‘contribution from meetings/ morchas’. The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain, it said.
Of the total Rs 307.288 crore, the BJD received Rs 291 crore, which accounts for 94.7 per cent of its total income, from voluntary contributions, especially through electoral bonds. The regional party has also not declared any donations details to the Election Commission of India (ECI). Apart from this, Rs 16.17 crore bank interest and Rs 11 lakh from other sources added to its income.
“An analysis of their audit reports and donations statements of parties filed with the ECI showed that the sources remain largely unknown. At present, political parties are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs. 20,000. As a result, a substantial amount of funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources. While the National Political Parties were brought under the RTI Act by the CIC ruling in June 2013, parties have still not complied with the decision. Full transparency is, unfortunately, not possible under the current laws, and it is only the RTI that can keep citizens informed,” the ADR report added.
>> Total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from Contribution report submitted by parties to Election Commission) is Rs 145.42 cr, which is 12.476% of the total income of the parties.
>> Total income of political parties from other known sources (e.g. Membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications, party levy etc.): Rs 132.605 cr, or 11.377% of total income.
In an earlier ADR report, Naveen Patnaik had bagged the position of the third richest CM with movable and immovable assets of Rs 63 crore. The BJD also won the second wealthiest regional party in India tag with a whopping 318 per cent jump in its annual income in 2021-22. The report further said that the BJD witnessed a slump in its income in 2020-21, but reported the highest increase in income of Rs 233.94 crore, followed by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (now Bharat Rashtra Samiti) and DMK, that declared an increase of Rs 180.45 crore and Rs 168.79 crore respectively in 2021-22.
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