Updated: November 14, 2019 7:14:48 am
The BJP raised more than Rs 700 crore in 2018-19, and its largest donation — Rs 356 crore — came from an electoral trust controlled by the Tata Group.
An electoral trust is a not-for-profit company established with the sole purpose of distributing the contributions received by it to different political parties. While electoral trusts can raise funds from individuals and corporations, the largest chunk of the donations come from the latter. Hence, contributions by electoral trusts to political parties are usually identified as corporate donations.
In 2018-19, the BJP received approximately Rs 470 crore from all electoral trusts as opposed to 167.80 crore in 2017-18.
Prudent Electoral Trust, which paid Rs 67.3 crore to BJP, is the second higher donor among electoral trusts. The Bharti Airtel Group is one of the largest contributors to this trust, which is also backed by Hero MotoCorp, Jubilant Foodworks, Orient Cement, DLF and JK Tyres, among others.
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This is as per the party’s contribution report submitted to the Election Commission. In the contribution report, a political party provides details of all donors who donated more than Rs 20,000. The funds generated through such donations are only a fraction of the total annual income of political parties.
Donations from electoral trusts to the Congress pale in comparison to the BJP. It received roughly Rs 90 crore from all electoral trusts in 2018-19. However, this is a big jump for Congress from the Rs 10 crore it received from electoral trusts in 2017-18.
The Progressive Electoral Trust, which gave Rs 346 crore to the BJP, gave Rs 55 crore to the grand old party. Prudent Electoral Trust, on the other hand, gave Rs 39 crore. The Aditya Birla General Electoral Trust, which gave over Rs 28 crore to the BJP, donated Rs 2 crore to the Congress.
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