The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) continued to be the top recipient of corporate and individual donations for the seventh straight year. The saffron party received Rs 785.77 crore in donation from companies and individuals in 2019-2020, over five times as much as contributions to the Congress (Rs 139 cr), according to its contribution report submitted to the Election Commission (EC).
The party’s contribution report for 2019-2020, though filed on February 12, was published by the ECI on Tuesday night. The report includes all contributions of ₹20,000 or more made via cheque and bank transfer. Of the other recognised parties, the NCP received Rs 59 crore, TMC received Rs 8 crore while the CPM and the CPI declared Rs 19.6 crore and Rs 1.9 crore respectively in their contribution reports in the same period.
Of the total Around ₹785.77 crore, ₹217.75 crore came from the Prudent Electoral Trust, which in turn received funds from DLF Limited, Bharti Airtel Limited, GMR Airport Developers, and other major corporate houses, The Hindu reported.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Capital, the ITC Group, real estate companies Macrotech Developers (earlier known as Lodha Developers) and B G Shirke Construction Technology, t and Jankalyan Electoral Trust were also among the BJP’s biggest donors.
A sizable chunk (Rs 20 crore) of BJP’s donation came from from Gulmarg Realtors, the real estate company associated with builder Sudhakar Shetty, in October 2019. The Enforcement Directorate had raided Shetty’s residence and office in January 2020.
Electoral trusts are non-profit companies that are set up to collect and disburse funds to political parties. In January 2013, the UPA regime notified the Electoral Trust Scheme, which provided for the setting up of electoral trusts under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. The party’s income from electoral bonds is not known yet as it’s yet to submit its annual audit report. The EC has extended the deadline for submission of the annual audit reports for 2019-20 to June 30.