BJP's 2017-18 earning crosses Rs. 1,000cr, becomes richest party
As per annual returns submitted to the Election Commission, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earned more than Rs. 1,000 crore in 2017-18, and could become the maximum gainer of political funding.
Congress and NCP are yet to submit their returns to the EC.
BJP's 2017-18 earning crosses Rs. 1,000 crore
BJP benefits from electoral bonds
One of the reasons BJP earned a hefty amount, is because of electoral bonds. The electoral bonds scheme was notified in January this year and in March these bonds were available in SBI branches of Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai & New Delhi.
Data revealed 520 electoral bonds worth Rs. 222 crore were purchased, and BJP got a lion's share, i.e., Rs. 210 crore.
Other donations for BJP saw a fall this year
Notably, BJP saw a fall in the 'other donations' category. As compared to 2016-17, when it got Rs. 923 crore, in 2017-18 the party got Rs. 714 crore.
The voluntary contributions saw a jump of 45%. Under the Aajiwan Sahayog Nidhi scheme, people can make online donations to the party.
BJP spokesperson Gopal Agarwal said the data proved BJP wanted to keep transactions transparent.
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All money is accounted for, claims Agarwal
"We collect money online and through cheques, now people are also paying through the NaMo App. Other parties do not report their entire collection of funds which is like keeping black money. We have ensured there is a single account for all transactions," Agarwal said.
CPI(M) earns 10% of what BJP earned
Notably, the annual income of CPI(M) stood at Rs. 104 crore, approximately a tenth of BJP's, and that of CPI was Rs. 1.5 crore.
Mamata Banerjee's TMC saw a dip in earnings. From 2016-17's Rs. 609 crore, the party earned Rs. 516 crore this time. The party saw a fall in corporate donations.
Mayawati's BSP went from Rs. 681 crore to Rs. 717 crore.