The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed to maintain its top position for the seventh year in a row in terms of receiving the maximum amount of corporate and individual donations. The saffron party received Rs 750 crore in donations from companies and individuals in 2019-20, BJP said in its contribution report submitted to the Election Commission (EC).
This is nearly five times more than the Congress party that received Rs 139.01 crore in the same period, The Indian Express reported. In addition to this, BJP's contributions recorded a 6 per cent rise since 2018-19, while Congress's donations fell from Rs 146.78 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 139 crore in 2019-20.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got Rs 59 crore, Trinamool Congress (TMC) received Rs 8 crore, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) Rs 19.6 crore, and the Communist Party of India (CPI) Rs 1.9 crore in the same period.
The saffron party's total amount of donation received is expected to be more than Rs 750 crore, since the report only mentions contributions made by individuals, companies, electoral trusts and associations that were more than Rs 20,000.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar's Jupiter Capital, ITC Group, real estate companies Macrotech Developers and BG Shirke Construction Technology, Prudent Electoral Trust, and Jankalyan Electoral Trust were among the BJP's biggest donors.
Major educational institutions that were amongst the saffron party's donors included Mewar University, Delhi (Rs 2 crore); Allen Career, Kota (Rs 25 lakh); Krishna Institute of Engineering (Rs 10 lakh); Pathania Public School, Rohtak (Rs 2.5 lakh); GD Goenka International School, Surat (Rs 2.5 lakh) and Little Hearts Convent School, Bhiwani (Rs 21,000).
Several BJP members were also among the party's prominent donors like Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar (Rs 5 lakh); MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rs 2 crore); Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu (Rs 1.1 crore) and Kirron Kher (Rs 6.8 lakh). Chairman of the Manipal Global Education Mohandas Pai donated Rs 15 lakh.
Gulmarg Realtors, the real estate company associated with builder Sudhakar Shetty, donated Rs 20 crore to the BJP in October 2019. In January 2020, the Enforcement Directorate had raided Shetty's office and residence.
Under the electoral bonds scheme - notified by the Centre on January 2, 2018, to purportedly regulate unaccounted money flowing into the political system and to improve financial transparency - citizens and corporations can buy anonymous bonds or monetary instruments from SBI and donate them to a political party.
While the BJP's income from electoral bonds is not currently known as the party is yet to submit its annual audit report, it has been the biggest beneficiary of the scheme. The BJP, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had raised Rs 2,410 crore from electoral bonds.
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