Audit Report Reveals BJP's Election Bond Income Soars, Congress Trails

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10 Feb 24
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Audit Report Reveals BJP's Election Bond Income Soars, Congress Trails

New Delhi,  The audit report submitted to the Election Commission reveals that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a whopping income of ₹1917.12 crores through electoral bonds in the last fiscal year, surpassing the Congress party's meager ₹452.37 crores.

The audit, conducted on political parties' finances, highlights that BJP's electoral bond income witnessed a substantial increase, reaching ₹1294.14 crores, making it the highest-ever contribution received through electoral bonds. In comparison, the Congress party's income from electoral bonds was seven times less. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), political parties received ₹13,000 crores through electoral bonds from March 2018 to July 2023. The State Bank of India (SBI) alone sold electoral bonds worth ₹9,208 crores, with BJP securing 58% of this amount. Contributions from individuals and companies to political parties surged by 743% between 2018 and 2022.

Introduced in the 2017 budget and implemented in 2018, electoral bonds are issued by SBI every quarter for a ten-day period. The identity of the bond purchaser remains confidential, allowing them to contribute to their preferred political party. The BJP's total income stood at ₹2,360 crores, with 54% sourced from electoral bonds, marking a 25% increase from the previous fiscal year. In comparison, the Congress party's income saw a decline, reaching ₹452 crores. The BJP's electoral expenditure during elections reached ₹1,092.15 crores in the last fiscal year, with 80% spent on advertising, amounting to ₹432.14 crores. Meanwhile, the Congress spent five times less, with election-related expenses totaling ₹192.55 crores.

The debate around electoral bonds intensifies as the audit report sheds light on the significant financial disparity between major political parties.

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