Oppn Fires ‘Black Money’ Salvo At BJD After Report Says It’s 2nd-Highest Earner Among Regional Parties
Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which ruling Odisha for past 23 years, was the second-highest earner among regional parties at Rs 307 crore in 2021-2022, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report.
It was marginally behind Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which reported having the highest income at Rs 318 crore, while Telangana Rashtra Samithi, subsequently renamed as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), was third at Rs 218 crore.
The BJD reported the highest increase of Rs 233.941 crore in its income, followed by TRS and DMK at Rs 180.454 crore and Rs 168.795 crore respectively. While the DMK is yet to spend more than Rs 283 crore of its total income, BJD and TRS have Rs 278 crore and Rs 190 crore respectively, it stated.
The report analysed the total income and expenditure incurred by 36 out of 54 regional parties during 2021-22, as declared by these parties in their audit reports submitted to the Election Commission on India.
Ten regional parties, including the DMK, BJD, YSR Congress, JDU and the AAP, had declared receiving Rs 852.88 crore donations through electoral bonds during this fiscal. The five parties that have incurred the highest expenditure are SP (Rs 54 crore), DMK (Rs 35 crore), AAP (Rs 30 crore), BJD (Rs 28 crore) and AIADMK (Rs 28 crore), it added.
Reacting to the report, BJP general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan alleged, “The report is just the tip of the iceberg. Apart from legal funding, the BJD has Rs 4500 crore black money, which the party has been using to win elections. Industries are reluctant to invest in Odisha with the government putting pressure on them for commission during signing of MoUs.”
Congress leader Suresh Routray questioned the money being splurged by the regional party on constructing BJD office on Capital Hospital premises and in by-elections. “Non-odia officers are engaged in collecting funds from corporates. People will give the party a befitting reply in 2024,” he added.
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