The Bharatiya Janata Party received nearly Rs 1,300 crore through electoral bonds in the financial year 2022-’23, reported PTI. This is more than seven times the amount raised by the Congress – Rs 171 crore – through electoral bonds in the same fiscal year.

Electoral bonds are monetary instruments that citizens or corporate groups can buy from a bank and give to a political party, which is then free to redeem them. The process is anonymous since no one is required to declare their purchase of these interest-free bonds and political parties do not need to show the source of the money.

Only the total amount received through the electoral bonds is revealed to the Election Commission through the audited accounts statements.

The BJP received Rs 2,120 crore in political contributions in the financial year 2022-’23, of which 61% came from electoral bonds, according to the party’s annual audited report submitted to the Election Commission.

In the financial year 2021-’22, the BJP had received Rs 1,775 crore in political contributions. The party’s total income increased from Rs 1,917 crore in the financial year 2022-’23 to Rs 2,360 crore in the financial year 2022-’23. This includes earnings through interest on its holdings, which stood at Rs 237 crore in the 2022-’23 fiscal.

The BJP spent Rs 78.2 crore for the use of aircraft and helicopters in the 2022’23 fiscal, down from Rs 117 crore in the financial year 2021-’22. It also spent Rs 76.5 crore on financial assistance to candidates in 2022-’23, down from Rs 146 crore in 2021-’22.

The Congress’ earnings through electoral bonds declined from Rs 236 crore in the financial year 2021-’22, to Rs 171 crore in the financial year 2022-’23.

A total of 27,133 electoral bonds worth Rs 15,946.30 crore have been sold in 29 tranches since the scheme was launched in 2018.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the Supreme Court in November that electoral bonds are kept anonymous to protect the donors’ political affiliations since it is part of their private life.