In the Assembly elections held in Assam, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Kerala this year, the BJP spent nearly Rs 252 crore, as per the Election Expenditure Statement submitted to the poll panel.
Out of Rs 252 crore, the saffron party spent over Rs 151.18 crore for its campaign in West Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on the other hand submitted that it had spent around Rs 154.28 crore on the West Bengal elections.
55% Donations to Regional Parties From 'Unknown' Sources: ADR
Meanwhile, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a report on Thursday, 11 November, that more than 55 percent of the donations received by 25 regional parties in FY 2019-20 came from “unknown” sources. Out of which nearly 95 percent of the donations came through electoral bonds.
Electoral bonds were introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 2017-2018 despite major political opposition, which allowed individuals as well as corporations to provide unlimited fund to political parties anonymously, including those partly owned by foreign entities.
As per the ADR report, the total donations received by the 25 regional parties in FY 2019-20 was Rs 803.24 crore.
Rs 445.7 crore of the total donations was attributed to “unknown” sources, out of which, Rs 426.233 crore came from electoral bonds, and Rs 4.976 crore from voluntary contributions.
Some top regional parties to declare highest “unknown” donations were: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with Rs 89.158 crore, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with Rs 81.694 crore, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSR) with Rs 74.75 crore, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with Rs 50.586 crore, and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with Rs 45.50 crore.
Meanwhile, the donations received from “known” donors added up to Rs 184.623 crore, which is 22.98 percent of their total income. Further, Rs 172.843 crore (21.52 percent of total income) was received from other known sources like membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications, party levy etc.
The ADR noted, “Since a very large percentage of the income of political parties cannot be traced to the original donor, full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI.”
Meanwhile, the report also noted that donations received by national parties from “unknown” sources added up to 70.98 percent of their income.
Similarly, as reported earlier, the BJP collected 76 percent of the electoral bonds sold in the financial year 2019-20, worth Rs 2,555 crore, highest of all national parties.
The Quint has previously exposed the Electoral Bonds scam. Click here to read our coverage.