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Corporate houses "officially" donated Rs 410 crore to BJP, Rs 128 crore to Congress in 2014-15: NGO report

By Our Representative
In an interesting revelation, a new report by two well-known NGOs, the National Election Watch (NEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), suggests a powerful hold of corporates over the two main political parties, BJP and Congress, in India.
Based on an analysis of the donation figures Rs 20,000 plus in financial year 2014-15, submitted by national political parties to the Election Commission of India, the report says, they received a total of Rs 622.38 crore, out of which Rs 576.37 crore was received from the corporate houses. The rest came mainly from individuals.
A further breakup provided in the report suggests that, while the BJP received Rs 409.94 crore from 794 corporates out of a total of Rs 437.35 crore it received as donations in 2014-15, while the Congress received Rs 127.96 crore from 121corporates out of a total of Rs 141.46 crore.
In fact, the donation details suggest that the clout of the Congress, whose government led the coalition till May 2014, was already down, presumably among corporate donors, in the financial year 2013-14 itself: During 2013-14 the total declared donations amount was Rs 247.77, of which the BJP’s amount was Rs 170.86 crore, as against the Congress’ Rs 59.58 crore.
The analysis said, there was “incomplete disclosure of information in the donations report”. Thus, “Rs 83.92 lakh was declared as received by the BJP from 20 such donors whose PAN details, address and mode of contribution (together) were unavailable. Only names of donors and the contributed amount were declared.”
Giving details of “top donors”, the report said, Bharti Group’s Satya Electoral Trust donated a total of Rs 13 crore to the BJP, the Congress and the NCP. “The trust donated Rs 107.25 crore to BJP (25% of total funds received by the party), Rs 18.75 crore to INC (13% of total funds received by the party) and Rs 6 crore to NCP”, the report said.
Then, the report said, the Aditya Birla Group’s General Electoral Trust, which did not make any donations to national parties in 2013-14, “contributed a total of Rs 117.30 crore to BJP and Congress in 2014-15”, of which the “BJP received Rs 63.2 crore (14 per cent of total funds) and the Congress received Rs 54.10 crore (38 per cent of total funds received).”
A further segregation suggests, “Corporates from Maharashtra donated Rs 246.56 crores while those from Gujarat gave Rs 22.68 crore”, the report said, adding, “Rs 77.81 lakh could not be segregated into the corporate or individual donations due to incomplete donor details.”
The report said, “290 donations, amounting to Rs 142.23 crore and formed 23 per cent of the total donations received contained incomplete information of the mode of contribution”.
It added, “Cash donations formed the least preferred mode of contributions where only 27 donations (Rs 89 lakh) were made by cash which constituted 0.14 per cent of the total contributions.”

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