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Ambiguity in political funding continues: Most Electoral Trusts are yet to submit the donor list

Reports suggest that only one of the seven electoral trusts formed after January 2013 has submitted details of its donors to the Election Commission despite government guidelines requiring them to do so. This highlights the

India TV News Desk Updated on: February 06, 2015 19:16 IST
ambiguity in political funding continues most electoral
ambiguity in political funding continues most electoral trusts are yet to submit the donor list

Reports suggest that only one of the seven electoral trusts formed after January 2013 has submitted details of its donors to the Election Commission despite government guidelines requiring them to do so. This highlights the lack of clarity in political funding.

The sole purpose of setting up Electoral Trust is to fund the registered political parties and as per June 2014 guidelines, they are expected to submit the details to EC annually.

According to a report published in The Times of India, only the Bharti Airtel group backed Satya Electoral Trust has submitted its annual report for the year 2013-2014. Trusts such as Pratinidhi Electoral Trust, People's Electoral Trust, Progressive Electoral Trust, Janhit Electoral Trust, Bajaj Electoral Trust and Janpragati Electoral Trust, are yet to submit their annual report.

According to data analyzed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the Satya Trust received Rs 85.40 crore and distributed Rs 85.37 crore to different political parties.

The corporate donors include Bharati Enterprise ( Rs 36 crore), DLF (Rs 20 crore), Hero Motocorp (Rs 11 crore), Jubliant Bharti Group (Rs 6 crore), Interglobe Aviation Limited and K K Birla Group who donated Rs 4 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively.

These contributions went to BJP, Congress and NCP with the saffron party being the major beneficiary. The BJP received Rs 41.37 crore (48.44 per cent) of the total donations followed by Congress with Rs. 36.50 crore and NCP with Rs 4 crore. Satya Trust also donated to the regional parties like SAD, RJD and J&K's National Conference.

These electoral trusts have been established by 15 corporates. Apart from Bharti's  Satya Electoral Trust, others include Vedanta group (Janhit Electoral Trust), Reliance group (People's Electoral Trust), Mahindra group (Mahindra Electoral Trust, New Democratic Electoral Trust), Tata Group (Progressive Electoral Trust), M P Birla Group (Paribartan Electoral Trust), Bajaj group (Bajaj Electoral Trust), Murugappa group (Triumph Electoral Trust), Bharat group (Kalyan Electoral Trust), Kotak group (Janta Nirvachak Electoral Trust), Lodha Group (Jagrut Electoral Trust), K K Birla group (Samaj Electoral Trust Association), Jain group (Gauri Welfare Association Electoral Trust) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Party that runs the Sardar Vallabhbhai Electoral Trust.

 

Although some information is available about these, there are nine trusts about which no information is available with the authorities.

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