In a recent analysis conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerges as the frontrunner in political donations through electoral trusts for the fiscal year 2022-2023, securing a substantial Rs 259.08 crore.
This staggering amount represents a significant 70.69 per cent of all donations made through this channel, underscoring the party's financial prowess and support base, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) follows closely behind, securing the second-highest electoral trust donations at Rs 90 crore, constituting 24.56 per cent of the total funds channeled through electoral trusts, as per the ADR report.
Electoral trusts, distinct from the more opaque electoral bonds, are established by companies with the primary objective of distributing contributions received from various firms and individuals to registered political parties.
Mandated by regulations, electoral trusts must donate a minimum of 95 per cent of the contributions received in a financial year to political parties registered under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
What sets electoral trusts apart is their commitment to transparency, as they are required to disclose the names of companies and individuals making contributions.
The ADR report highlights that the YSR Congress received Rs 16 crore, the Aam Aadmi Party Rs 90 lakh, and the Congress obtaining Rs 50 lakh in donations through electoral trusts.
Among the 13 electoral trusts that submitted their contribution reports, only five — Prudent Electoral Trust, Samaj Electoral Trust Association, Paribartan Electoral Trust, Triumph Electoral Trust, and Einzigartig Electoral Trust — declared contributions from corporate houses and individuals.
The combined contributions from these five trusts amounted to an impressive Rs 366.495 crore.
Prudent Electoral Trust, in particular, stands out by disbursing a substantial 99.09 per cent of the collected funds, totaling Rs 363.15 crore, to four political parties.
Interestingly, the Congress received its only donation of Rs 50 lakh from the Samaj Electoral Trust Association.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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