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No black money used during Gujarat, HP polls in 2017? BJP, Congress claim 98% cheque/DD payment: ADR

By Our Representative
If the latest data, made available by the high-profile NGO Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), is any guide, the two main political parties, BJP and Congress, virtually did not collect or use any black money in the November-December 2017 assembly elections, which took place in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
A just-released report by ADR says that of the total expenditure incurred by political parties during the polls – Rs 163.73 crore – just Rs 3.44 crore, or 2.1% was in cash, and Rs 129.21 crore, was either by cheque or demand draft (DD). An amount of Rs 31.08 crore, ironically, remained “unpaid.”
This is against the total amount collected by political parties fighting polls was Rs 356.79 crore, of which just Rs 26.69 crore was in cash, while the rest, Rs 330.16 crore, or about 93%, was mainly collected through cheque or demand draft.
The report, which does not provide party-wise breakup of the cash and cheque/DD funds collection during the polls, says that political parties must be made to submit “details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns”, and these “must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated.”
It insists on the need to prepare format of donations and expenditure, which should be submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI), on an annual basis. This, it says, is essential “to bring in more transparency in the finances of the political parties, especially during elections when it is said that black money plays a major role.”
The ADR report analyses the funds received and expenditure incurred, as submitted to the ECI by recognized political parties during the State Assembly elections to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in November and December 2017.
A disclaimer by ADR says, “While all effort has been made to ensure that the information is in keeping with what is mentioned in the statements submitted by the political parties, in case of discrepancy between information in this report and that given in their statements, the information reported by the political parties should be treated as correct.”
ADR, which prepared its report with the help of the National Election Watch, however, says, it is “not responsible or liable for any damage arising directly or indirectly from the publication of this report.”
“Among political parties”, the report states, “BJP collected the maximum funds of Rs 251 crore, 64.04% or Rs 160.75 crore of which was collected at the party’s Central Headquarter level.” The Congress, on the other hand, “collected the second highest funds worth Rs 71.15 crore, 69.05% or Rs 49.129 cr of which was collected by the Gujarat State Unit.”
As for spending, the report says, “The political parties spent a total of Rs 227.44 crore on publicity, travel, miscellaneous expenses and lumpsum amount to candidates”, noting, they spent “the highest on publicity (Rs 95.82 crore or 42.13% of total) followed by Rs 61.35 crore or 26.97% of total on lumpsum amount paid to candidates and Rs 37.89 crore on other/miscellaneous expenses (16.66% of total expenditure).” 

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