The Bharatiya Janata Party received Rs 276.45 crore as donations from electoral trusts in 2019-2020, a report released by election reforms group Association for Democratic Reforms showed on Wednesday. This amounted to 76.17% of the total donations given to all political parties from electoral trusts during that period.

In contrast, 13 parties, including the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Shiv Sena, the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party, received Rs 83.46 crore, or 23%, of the total donations. The Congress received Rs 58 crore (15.98%) of the total donations.

Source: ADR Report

The BJP has been garnering the highest donations from electoral trusts for three consecutive years now. In 2017-’18, the party received Rs 167.8 crore, or 86.59% of the total donations, while in 2018-’19 the party accumulated Rs 100.25 crore, which accounted for nearly 40% of the contributions.

Out of the 21 electoral trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes, 14 submitted their annual reports to the Election Commission. Seven of these 14 declared that they had received funds that were then given to political parties, the ADR report said. These trusts received a total of Rs 363.51 crore from various corporates and individuals.

Prudent Electoral Trust contributed the highest at Rs 271.5 crore in 2019-2020, followed by Jankalyan Electoral Trust (Rs 70.95 crore) and AB General Electoral Trust (Rs 10 crore).

The Association for Democratic Reforms observed that half the trusts that submitted their annual reports declared nil contributions, and it raised questions over the continued registration of such electoral trusts.

Among corporate donors, JSW Steel Limited contributed the highest (Rs 39.10 crore), followed by Apollo Tyres Limited (Rs 30 crore) and Indiabulls Infraestate Limited (Rs 25 crore).

These trusts are non-profit companies formed by various private corporations for political funding. According to the Election Commission’s guidelines issued in June 2014, all electoral trusts formed after January 2013 are required to declare details of the money they receive and how it is disbursed. Central government rules mandate these firms to donate 95% of their total income to registered political parties in a financial year.