Election Commission

1. The Election Commission unveils electoral bond data, enhancing transparency in political funding.
2. BJP emerges as the top beneficiary, receiving ₹6,986.5 crore through electoral bonds since 2018.
3. Release of data sheds light on financial transactions, offering valuable insights into political party finances.

New Delhi, March 18: The Election Commission of India has made a significant move by releasing data on electoral bonds, providing insight into the financial transactions of political parties.

Here are the key points from the election panel’s data:

  1. BJP Leads in Funds: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerges as the top recipient of funds through electoral bonds, accumulating a staggering ₹6,986.5 crore since the introduction of these bonds in 2018.
  2. Top Donor to DMK: Future Gaming and Hotel Services, linked to Santiago Martin and currently under scrutiny by the Enforcement Directorate, stands out as the top purchaser of electoral bonds. This entity contributed over ₹509 crore to Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), through electoral bonds.
  3. Incomplete Donor Information: While Future Gaming disclosed a significant portion of its electoral bond receipts, the beneficiaries of the remaining ₹859 crore worth of bonds purchased by this entity remain undisclosed due to incomplete donor information from most political parties.
  4. Party-wise Distribution: Following the BJP, the Trinamool Congress of West Bengal ranks second with ₹1,397 crore, followed closely by the Congress with ₹1,334 crore. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Biju Janata Dal also feature prominently, receiving ₹1,322 crore and ₹944.5 crore respectively.
  5. Other Recipients: Notable recipients of electoral bonds include the DMK with ₹656.5 crore, YSR Congress with nearly ₹442.8 crore, and the Samajwadi Party with total donations of ₹10.84 crore, including anonymous contributions.
  6. Disclosure Discrepancies: While the DMK has disclosed donor identities, major parties such as the BJP, Congress, and Trinamool Congress have not fully disclosed this information to the EC, as mandated by the Supreme Court directive.
  7. Redemption Details: Several political parties have redeemed electoral bonds, with amounts varying across different parties. For instance, the Telugu Desam Party redeemed bonds totaling ₹181.35 crore, while the Shiv Sena redeemed ₹130.38 crore.
  8. Data Transparency: The latest data set released by the EC contains scanned copies of disclosures made by political parties, offering transparency and accountability in electoral funding.

Also Read: 10 rescued after 5-storey building collapses onto slum in Kolkata

The release of this data marks a significant step towards enhancing transparency in political funding, providing citizens with crucial information about the financial transactions of political parties.