The Tata Group-controlled Progressive Electoral Trust donated Rs 46.78 crore to the ruling AIADMK in 2019.

EPS and OPS with photo of Jayalalithaa
news Politics Friday, November 06, 2020 - 15:00

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu declared that the party received Rs 52 crore as donations from two sources in 2019. The declaration which was submitted to the Election Commission of India was made ahead of the 2021 Assembly Elections. The AIADMK received cheques adding upto Rs 52,17,13,118 from two companies - namely The Progressive Electoral Fund and the ITC Limited Corporate Affairs Office last year.

The Tata Group controlled Progressive Electoral Trust is the top donor to the AIADMK.  The Progressive Electoral Trust, whose office is located in Mumbai, donated Rs 46.78 crore to the party. The AIADMK also received Rs Rs 5.39 crore worth of donations from ITC Limited. The contributions were made in two separate cheques of Rs 1.38 crore and Rs 4 crore. The party declared donations it received in excess of Rs 20,000 by filing form 24 A, which requires the political party to declare their income for the year under section 139 of the Income Tax Act 1961.

The AIADMK also reportedly did not declare any assets in excess of Rs 20,000 for the year 2018-2019.  The Progessive Electoral Trust, which is a registered firm in Mumbai, is a Tatas-controlled electoral trust which funds political parties in India. According to reports, in 2018-2019, the Progresive Electoral Trust donated Rs 356 crore to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the financial year 2018-19, leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The trust was the top donor to the BJP in that year, based on the party’s form declaring donations it received in excess of Rs 20,000 that it had submitted to the Election Commission of India prior to the Lok Sabha polls.

The letter attached to the Form 24 A also from both ITC and the Progressive Electoral Trust state that their contributions are in compliance with conditions ‘prescribed under Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 (which deals with prohibitions and restrictions regarding political contributions) and the constitution documents of the Company’.

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