The Association for Democratic Reforms in its latest analysis has said that the contribution reports of just 3.39%, or 78 of the overall 2,301 registered unrecognised parties are available in the public domain for the financial year of 2018-’19.
Unrecognised political parties are either newly registered or they have not secured a sufficient percentage of votes in the Assembly or General Elections to become a state party. The parties that fall under this category also may have never contested the elections after being registered with the Election Commission of India. The ADR report said 2,301 or 97.50% of registered groups are unrecognised parties.
“The contribution reports of a total of only 78 or 3.39% of the total 2,301 registered unrecognised parties is available in the public domain for FY 2018-’19, and for FY 2017-’18, the reports are available for only 82 parties or 3.56% of the total registered unrecognised parties,” the Association for Democratic Reforms said.
The number of these registered but unrecognised parties has increased two fold in the last decade, the report said. “From 1,112 parties in 2010, the number has spiked to 2,301 in 2019,” the ADR analysis said. “It is important to note that the number of such parties increases disproportionately during the year of Parliamentary elections especially. Between 2018 and 2019, it increased by over 9.8% while between 2013 and 2014, it increased by 18%.”
The report declared that 6,860 donations costing Rs 65.45 crore were received during 2018-’19, and 6,138 of them worth Rs 24.6 crore arrived in 2017-’18. For both financial years, the Uttar Pradesh-based Apna Desh Party declared the highest donations to the tune of Rs 65.63 crore.
“During FY 2017-’18, only 39 or 1.69% of the total registered unrecognised parties submitted their contribution reports before the due date while in FY 2018-19, only 1.65% or 38 parties submitted their contribution reports on time,” the ADR analysis said. “Of the 138 parties analysed for the two-year period, the contribution reports for FY 2017-18 are not available for 56 parties. In case of FY 2018-19, the contribution reports are not available on the CEO website for 60 parties at the time of making this report.”
The ADR report also noted that 12,924 electoral bonds to the tune of Rs 6,534.28 crore were sold between March 2018 and January 2021. “This report analyses the status of submission of contribution reports of 138 registered unrecognised parties whose donation statements were available in the public domain for either FY 2017-’18 or FY 2018-’19 or both at the time of preparation of this report,” it said.
Meanwhile, 761 corporate donations worth Rs 14.47 crore (16.07% of total contribution) were made during the financial years of 2017-’18 and 2018-’19. Of these contributions, 11,997 individuals in the corporate sector donated Rs 73.57 crore in two years.
India’s seven national parties have received Rs 3,749.37 crore in the 2018-’19 financial year with 67% of it coming from “unknown sources” that cannot be traced, the Association for Democratic Reforms report in March last year said.
Out of the total amount of funding, the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party accounted for Rs 1,612.04 crore – 64% of the total income of national parties – from untraceable sources. “This income of BJP forms more than 1.5 times more the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other five national parties (Rs 900.94 cr),” the report said.