Electoral bonds: Regional parties received over Rs 5,221; TMC got highest

Regional parties received over Rs 5,221 crore in donations through electoral bonds between April 2019 and January 2024 which was Rs 839 crore less than the Rs 6,060.51 crore raised by the BJP alone in the period under review. 

According to the data of the electoral bonds published by the Election Commission, two national parties – the Congress and the AAP – have raised Rs 1,421.86 crore and Rs 65.45 crore respectively, in the period. While, other national parties – the BSP, the CPI(M) and the NPP – did not receive any funds through electoral bonds.

Among the regional parties, the Trinamool Congress received the highest, Rs 1,609.53 crore, which was 30 per cent of the total donations received by 22 regional parties who got funds through electoral bonds. While, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi raised Rs 1,214.70 crore through electoral bonds, the BJD got Rs 775.50 crore, the DMK Rs 639 crore, the YSRCP Rs 337 crore, the TDP Rs 218.88 crore and the Shiv Sena raised 159.38 crore.

The per the data, the RJD raised Rs 73.5 crore through electoral bonds, the JD(S) Rs 43.40 crore, the Sikkim Krantikari Party Rs 36.5 crore, the NCP Rs 31 crore, the Jana Sena Party Rs 21 crore, the SP Rs 14.05 crore, the JD(U) Rs 14 crore, and the JMM Rs 13.5 crore. 

Among other comparatively smaller regional parties, the Akali Dal raised Rs 7.2 crore, the AIADMK Rs 6.05 crore, and the Sikkim Democratic Front Rs 5.5 crore. While, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the J&K National Conference and the Goa Forward Party received less than Rs 1 crore through electoral bonds.

Notably, according to an earlier report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore have been sold from March 2018 to January 2024. The data published by Election Commission so far does not include the period from March 2018 to April 11, 2019. 

The BJP received the highest contributions through the electoral bonds amounting to Rs 6,566 crore or 54.77 per cent, followed by the Congress with Rs 1,123 crore or 9.37 per cent, and the Trinamool Congress Rs 1,092 crore or 9.11 per cent, it had said in the report released last month.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the SBI said a total of 22,217 electoral bonds of varying denominations were purchased by donors between April 1, 2019 and February 15 this year, out of which 22,030 were redeemed by political parties.

(With PTI inputs)

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