The BJP has gathered a whopping 76 per cent of the electoral bonds sold in the financial year 2019-20, shows data accessed by NDTV from the Election Commission. Altogether electoral bonds worth Rs 3,355 crore were sold in 2019-20, of which the BJP income was Rs 2,555 crore. This was a 75 per cent per cent jump on the Rs 1,450 crore it received through the electoral bonds the previous year.
In the same period, the collections of the Congress — the BJP’s biggest political rival — dropped by 17 per cent. In 2018-19, the Congress had received Rs 383 crore from electoral bonds. In 2019-10, it received Rs 318 crore – 9 per cent of the total electoral bonds.
Of the rest of the opposition, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress collected Rs 100.46 crore, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party Rs 29.25 crore, Shiv Sena Rs 41 crore, the DMK Rs 45 crore, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal Rs 2.5 crore and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party Rs 18 crore.
In the financial year ending in March 2019, the BJP’s income was more than twice that of its five major rivals put together. The BJP alone has received 68 per cent of the electoral bonds sold since inception till March 2020. The party, though, consistently had the highest income among all political parties long before the bonds came in.
Electoral bonds, which were introduced by the government in 2017-2018 in face of major political opposition, allows individuals as well as corporations — including those partly owned by foreign entities — to fund political parties anonymously.
Altogether, political parties showed a sharp rise in income after the introduction of the anonymous donation system was introduced.
Before its introduction, the Congress had argued that though the bonds, the government was making “corruption official”. The government had argued that it would improve transparency as they were banking instruments and every political party will have to disclose how much money they received.