Bharatiya Janata Party has declared its income to be Rs 2,410 crore during 2018-19, which is 65% of total income declared by six national parties during the financial year, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). Significantly, the income of the ruling party has increased by 134.6% from Rs 1024 crore during 2017-18.
Among the opposition parties, Indian National Congress has declared Rs 918 crore to be its income, followed by Trinamool Congress (Rs 192 crore), CPI(M) (Rs 100 crore), Bahujan Samaj Party (Rs 69.7 crore) and CPI declared Rs 7.15 crore as income during 2018-19.
While voluntary donations remianed major source of income for the political parties, a substantial amount of Rs 1,931.43 crore came as contributions through electoral bonds during last financial year to the six national parties. Of this, the BJP claimed it received 75% or Rs 1450 crore through electoral bonds during the period which saw the general elections. Congress received Rs 383 crore and Trinamool Congress got Rs 97 crore through electoral bonds in 2018-19. Electoral bonds scheme launched by the BJP government in 2018 has been controversial given the anonymity of the donors.
CPI(M), CPI and BSP did not receive any donations through the electoral bonds.
Among the regional parties that have submitted their audit reports, five parties including, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, YSR Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and Sikkim Democratic Front have declared donations through electoral bonds worth Rs 490.59 crore during 2018-19.
That is, while electoral bonds worth Rs 2539.58 crore were redeemed by parties in financial year 2018-19, as per the State Bank of India’s (SBI) response to ADR’s RTI application, so far, the total amount through electoral bonds route declared by national and regional parties for 2018-19 is Rs 2422.02 crore.
The highest increase in income was declared by Trinamool Congress of 3628.47% (Rs 187.48 crore) from Rs 5.1 crore during 2017-18 to Rs 192.65 crore during 2018-19. Whereas, the income of CPI(M) decreased by 3.71% from Rs 104.847 crore during 2017-18 to Rs 100.96 crore during 2018-19.
In November 2014, the Election Commission of India has made it mandatory for the political parties to submit details of their audited reports to the commission.
As per the analysis by ADR, BJP declared its expenditure to be Rs 1005.3 crore, highest among national parties followed by Congress which spent Rs 469 crore, CPI(M) (Rs 76 crore), Trinamool Congress (Rs 11.5 crore), BSP (Rs 48.8 crore) and CPI (Rs 5.7 crore) during 2018-19.
BJP declared its maximum expenditure for BJP towards election or general propaganda which amounted to Rs 792.39 crore followed by expenses towards administrative costs, Rs 178.35 crore. Congress spent the maximum of Rs 308.96 crore on election expenditure followed by expenditure of Rs 125.80 crore on administrative and general expenses.
CPI(M) declared to have spent 46.01% of its total expenditure during FY 2018 -19 on administrative and general expenses (Rs 35.04 crore) while BSP spent Rs 33.11 crore or 67.74% of its total expenditure on election expenses.