Vast Majority Of Political Parties Did Not Get Donations Through Electoral Bonds

New Delhi: While several political parties received donations worth crores of rupees through electoral bonds, a significant majority did not receive any funds through the now-defunct scheme for political funding.

Over 500 recognised and unrecognised political parties have shared details on electoral bonds in sealed covers to the Supreme Court. The data was submitted through the Election Commission and was put in public domain by the poll panel on Sunday.

Left parties, including CPI, CPI-M, All-India Forward Bloc and CPI-ML did not receive any electoral bond funding. They said as a matter of principle they refused donations through this route.

The CPI(M) in its letter to the EC said, “The Communist Party of India (Marxist), as you are aware, has right from the inception of the electoral bond scheme voiced its opposition to it. We had decided against accepting any donation through the medium of electoral bonds. In consonance with this principled stand, the Party has not received any donation through electoral bonds.”

“You may also be aware that among the three cases challenging the Electoral Bonds Scheme pending before the Supreme Court, one is that of the CPI(M),” the party continued in the letter, signed by president Sitaram Yechury.

Several parties which are active in states, such as Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, AIMIM, IAUDF, Zoram People’s Movement, Asom Gana Parishad, Bodoland People’s Front, Kerala Congress (Mani), late Vijayakanth’s DMDK, INLD, Tamil Maanila Congress did not receive donations through poll bonds.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by Mayawati has informed the EC that it has not received any funding through electoral bonds since the initiation of the scheme.

The National People’s Party, which rules Meghalaya, is another national party which received no donations through electoral bonds.

National Conference, a recognised state party in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, has disclosed receiving Rs 50 lakh from the Bharti group through electoral bonds. The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) disclosed it received Rs 50 lakh via electoral bonds from Alambic Pharma.

Some of the registered, unrecognised parties have made their submission in hand-written notes on plain paper declaring not receiving any funding through poll bonds.
On the other hand, some other smaller regional players such as the Goa Forward Party and MGP received electoral bonds worth Rs 36 lakh and Rs 55 lakh respectively.

According to an earlier report compiled by NGO Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore were sold from March 2018 to January 2024.

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