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Six electoral trusts donated Rs.177.4 cr to 19 parties: ADR

By Ians English

New Delhi, April 25: Six electoral trusts formed by different corporate houses donated Rs.177.40 crore to 19 political parties during 2014-15 fiscal, a statement by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) here said.

ADR said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are the prominent national parties that got the major chunk of these donations.

6 trusts donated Rs.177.4 cr to parties

"The BJP received the most, Rs.111.35 crore, from three electoral trusts, followed by the Congress at Rs.31.65 crore from three trusts. The CPI-M received a total of Rs.2.35 lakh from Triumph Electoral Trust, but the party did not declare the same in its donations report to the Election Commission of India," the ADR statement said.

According to the rules formulated by the government, electoral trusts are formed for the transparent funding of political outfits and they are required to donate 95 percent of their total income to registered parties in a financial year.

According to available information, Satya Electoral Trust got the highest Rs.141.78 crore from corporates and it distributed Rs.141.75 crore (99.98 percent of the amount) to 15 recognized regional parties, including Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The trust gave Rs.5 crore to the INLD but the party has not filed its donations report to the Election Commission.

Satya Electoral Trust also donated 75.66 percent of the money it received, or Rs.107.25 crore, to the BJP.

Indiabulls Housing Finance had contributed the maximum of Rs.40 crore to Satya Electoral Trust, making 22.53 percent of its total donations, followed by DLF, which donated Rs.25.01 crore and constituted 14.08 per cent of total donations.

"Satya Electoral Trust received total contribution of Rs.141.78 crore, while Progressive Electoral Trust got Rs.25.14 crore. Janpragati Electoral Trust got Rs.4.02 crore, Bajaj Electoral Trust received Rs.3.05 crore, while Triumph Electoral Trust got Rs.3.028 crore and Samaj Electoral Trust received Rs.0.52 crore as donations," the ADR release said.

The ADR has urged the Election Commission to penalize the trusts that have not adhered to the guidelines circulated by it.

"The names of Electoral Trusts, currently, do not indicate the name of the company or the group of companies that have set up the trusts. In order to have greater transparency regarding details of corporates which fund political parties, it would be ideal to include the name of the parent company in the name of the Electoral Trust. Those Electoral Trusts which have not complied with the guidelines circulated by the ECI should be heavily penalized," the ADR said.


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