Seven electoral trusts received a total amount of Rs 258.49 crore as donations from corporates and individuals, of which more than 82 per cent went to the Bharatiya Janata Party alone. This information has been given by the election rights body ADR.
Electoral trusts are non-profit organizations established to receive donations (contributions) systematically from industries and individuals for political parties in India. Its objective is to bring transparency in the use of funds for election related expenses.
The Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) in its latest report said that 16 out of 23 electoral trusts have submitted details of their contributions to the Election Commission for the financial year 2020-21, out of which only seven have announced their receipt.
The report said, “Seven election trusts have declared the amount received for the financial year 2020-21, which have received a total amount of Rs 258.49 crore from industry houses and individuals and out of these, 258.43 crore (received) to various political parties 99.98 percent of the amount.
According to the ADR, out of the donations received by these seven trusts, BJP got Rs 212.05 crore which is 82.05 per cent of the total amount while Janata Dal United (JDU) got Rs 27 crore which is 10.45 per cent of the total amount.
According to the report, 10 other parties including Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, AIADMK, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, CPI, CPI(M) and Loktantrik Janata Dal have received a total amount of Rs 19.38 crore from these seven trusts.
According to the rules made by the central government, electoral trusts have to distribute 95 percent of the amount received in the financial year to political parties.
The ADR report analyzed donors to seven electoral trusts set up after January 2013 and the funds given through them to political parties.
Of the 23 registered electoral trusts in the country, 14 are regularly reporting their information to the Election Commission. Another eight electoral trusts have declared that they have not received any donations or that the donation reports have never been made available on the Election Commission’s website since registration.
According to the report, 159 persons contributed to the electoral trust during the financial year 2020-21. Of these, two persons donated 3.5 crores to Prudent Electoral Trust while 153 persons donated Rs 3.20 crores to Small Donations Electoral Trust. Three persons contributed Rs 5 lakh to Einzigerting Electoral Trust while one person contributed Rs 1,100 to Independent Electoral Trust.