Political parties have multiple
sources of funding and thus accountability and transparency should be an
important aspect of their functioning. It is essential to have comprehensive
and transparent accounting methods and systems which should reveal the true
financial position of the parties.
The Election Commission of India
(ECI), in its letter dated 19th November,’14 addressed
to the Presidents/General Secretaries of all political parties, stated that it
was mandatory for the parties to submit details of their audited reports to the
Commission. This report analyses the total income and expenditure incurred, all
over India, by the National Parties during FY
2019-20, as declared by the parties in their IT Returns submitted to the
The National Parties include
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian
National Congress (INC), Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress
Party (NCP), Communist Party of
India (CPI), Communist Party of
India (Marxist) (CPM), All India
Trinamool Congress (AITC) and National
People’s Party (NPEP).
Status of submission of audited
reports by the National Parties, FY 2019-20
due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 30th June,’21, which was an
extended deadline keeping in view the Covid-19 pandemic.
- INC, NCP, CPI, AITC, CPM and BSP submitted their audit reports on time while BJP submitted after
21 days, while the audit report of NPEP is still not available
in public domain – 57 days have
passed since the due date for submission.
Total Income and Expenditure of National Political
Parties for FY 2019-20
- BJP declared a total income of Rs 3,623.28 cr during FY 2019-20, but spent only 45.57% (Rs 1,651.022
cr) of the total income. INC’s total
income was Rs 682.21 cr while
the party spent Rs 998.158 cr, which exceeds its income for that year by 46.31%.
- AITC declared a total income of Rs 143.676 cr during FY 2019-20, and spent Rs 107.277 cr (74.67%) of it.
Total Income of National Parties
for FY 2019-20
National Parties (BJP, INC, CPM, NCP, BSP, AITC and CPI) have
declared a total income of Rs 4758.206
cr, collected from all over India.
has shown the highest income amongst the National Parties, an income of Rs 3623.28 cr during FY 2019-20. This forms 76.15% of the total income of 7 National Parties during FY 2019-20.
declared the second highest income of Rs
682.21 cr which forms 14.34% of
the total income of the 7 National Parties.
Comparison of total income of
National Political Parties between FY 2018-19 & FY 2019-20
- Between FY 2018-19 and 2019-20, the income of BJP increased by 50.34% (Rs 1213.20 cr) from Rs 2410.08
cr during FY 2018-19 to Rs 3623.28 cr during FY 2019-20.
- Income of INC
decreased by 25.69% (Rs 235.82 cr) from Rs 918.03 cr during FY 2018-19 to Rs 682.21 cr during FY 2019-20.
- Between FY 2018-19 and 2019-20, the highest percentage increase in income
was declared by NCP of 68.77% (Rs 34.873 cr) from Rs 50.71 cr
during FY 2018-19 to Rs 85.583 cr during FY 2019-20.
Top 3 sources of income of
National Parties for FY 2019-20
- National Parties
that received highest income from donations/contributions include
BJP – Rs 3427.775 cr, INC – Rs 469.386 cr, AITC – Rs 108.548 cr, CPM – Rs
93.017 cr and CPI – Rs 3.024 cr.
- Voluntary Contributions of Rs 3427.775 cr declared by BJP forms 94.60% of its total income
during FY 2019-20.
- Declaration of Rs 469.386 cr under Grants/ donations/ contributions by INC forms the top most income of the
party, contributing 68.80% of its total income during FY 2019-20.
CPM, NCP and CPI declared
the highest income from grants/donations/voluntary contributions worth Rs 108.548 cr, Rs 93.017 cr, Rs 83.3625 cr
and Rs 3.024 cr, respectively.
Top 3 items of expenditure of
National Parties for FY 2019-20
maximum expenditure for BJP has been
towards Election/General Propaganda
which amounted to Rs 1352.928 cr followed
by expenses towards Administrative Costs,
Rs 161.54 cr.
- INC spent the maximum of Rs 864.035 cr on Election
Expenditure followed by expenditure of Rs
99.393 cr on Administrative and
- NCP, AITC and BSP also incurred the maximum spending
on Election Expenditure of Rs 84.126 cr, Rs 74.65 cr and Rs 51.756 cr, respectively.
All sources of income declared by
National Parties, FY 2019-20
- 4 National parties namely BJP, INC, AITC and NCP collected
62.92% (Rs 2993.826 cr) of their
total income from donations through Electoral Bonds for FY 2019-20. BJP received donations through Electoral
Bonds worth Rs 2555.0001 cr, INC received Rs 317.861 cr, AITC received
Rs 100.4646 cr and NCP received Rs 20.50 cr.
FY 2019-20, 6 National Parties, declared receiving an income from Donations/Contributions, a total of Rs 1191.285 cr.
Observations of ADR
- Audit report of BJP was available on the ECI website after a delay of 21 days from the extended deadline. Audit report of NPEP
for FY 2019-20 is still unavailable
on the ECI website even though 57 days
have passed since the due date (June
- The most common and popular items
of expenditure for National parties for FY 2019-20 are election expenses/general propaganda and administrative/general
- Given the anonymity provided to
donors by the scheme, it is seen that Electoral Bonds have emerged as the most popular
mode of donations to National Political parties for FY 2019-20. More than 62% of the total income of seven National
Parties came from Donations through Electoral Bonds (Rs 2993.826 cr),
wherein identity of the donor is not disclosed to the public. Of the Regional
parties that have submitted their audit reports, 14 Regional Parties (TRS, TDP, YSR-C, BJD, DMK, SHS, AAP, JDU, SP, JDS,
SAD, AIADMK, RJD & JMM) have declared
receiving donations through Electoral Bonds worth Rs 447.498 cr.
- As per the data shared by SBI in
response to ADR’s RTI application, Electoral Bonds worth Rs 3429.5586 cr were redeemed by parties in FY 2019-20. Of this, 87.29% was received by four National
Parties – BJP, INC, AITC & NCP. The total amount of Electoral Bonds
declared by National and Regional
parties for FY 2019-20 so far is Rs
3441.324 cr. The difference in
the amount declared by political parties
and data on EBs redeemed
received from SBI could be due to the manner in which parties report in their
audit report. For example: AAP declared donations from electoral bonds under
the head “Others (Electoral
Bonds/Electoral Trust)”. It may also be noted that audit reports of many
other Regional parties are not yet available in the public domain. Once this data
is available and subsequently if these parties declare receiving donations via
Electoral Bonds, the total share of donations received from Electoral Bonds may
- Some of the National parties have expressed great concern and have been highly critical of the Electoral Bonds
Scheme, 2018. They criticize the scheme at every public debate possible. In its election manifesto for the 2019
Lok Sabha elections, INC declared that it would scrap the Electoral Bonds
Scheme if it is voted to power. However, it is ironic that the same parties continue to accept donations via
Electoral Bonds. This displays the double standards
adopted by some political parties.