Amid the trenchant debates about demonetisation and black money, the question of sources of funding for political parties has cropped up time and again. It now emerges that the ruling BJP has been the largest benefactor of funding from unknown sources between 2013 and 2015.
Section 29C of the Representation of People Act, 1951, mandates that all donations made to political parties by any individual or company in excess of Rs 20,000 should be reported to the Election Commission (EC), along with the name of the person, the company and its address.
However, parties need not disclose the identity of contributors giving less than Rs 20,000, making the sources of such funding unknown. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tops the list of parties receiving donations from such sources, according to a video produced by data-journalism portal Factly.in, based on data from the Association for Democratic Reforms.
Between 2013 and 2015, the party received an income of Rs 977 crore from unknown sources.
Ranking second in the list, the Congress reported an income of Rs 969 crore in the same period.
At a distant third and fourth place were the BSP with just over Rs 141 crore, and the CPI (M) with just over Rs 120 crore.
As one Deccan Chronicle report points out, such donations from unknown sources are a substantial part of most parties’ income. “A whopping Rs 1,130 crore (income specified in the I-T returns whose sources are unkown) is about 60 per cent of the total income of parties,” the newspaper reported, based on data from 2014-2015.
Watch the video here: