The Bharatiya Janata Party garnered more than 70.6% of total donations from electoral trusts in the fiscal year 2022-’23, as reported by the Association for Democratic Reforms.
IIn 2013, the United Progressive Alliance government introduced the electoral trusts scheme to enable corporate groups and individuals to contribute to political parties. Unlike anonymous electoral bonds, electoral trusts must annually disclose their donation reports to the Election Commission.
Out of the 18 electoral trusts registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes, 13 provided their contribution details for the fiscal year 2022-’23 to the electoral body. However, among them, only five trusts acknowledged receiving contributions during that specific period.
The five electoral trusts are: Prudent Electoral Trust, Samaj Electoral Trust Association, Paribartan Electoral Trust, Triumph Electoral Trust and Einzigartig Electoral Trust.
The Association for Democratic Reforms, an election watchdog, analyzed and found that these five electoral trusts received contributions totaling Rs 366.495 crore in 2022-’23. Subsequently, these trusts contributed Rs 366.48 crore to different political parties.
Electoral trusts are required to distribute at least 95% of the total contributions they receive during a financial year.
The BJP received Rs 259.08 crore out of the total amount donated by the five electoral trusts in 2022-’23.
During this timeframe, the Prudent Electoral Trust contributed Rs 256.25 crore to the BJP. The Samaj Electoral Trust Association donated Rs 1.5 crore to the Hindutva party and Rs 50 lakh to the Congress.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi, in power in Telangana until December, obtained Rs 90 crore, constituting 24.56% of the total donations. The ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party, and the Congress collectively received Rs 17.4 crore.
The leading 10 corporate contributors provided Rs 332.26 crore to electoral trusts, constituting 90.66% of the total donations received by the trusts in 2022-’23.
Megha Engineering and Infrastructures led with the most substantial corporate donation of Rs 87 crore to the Prudent Electoral Trust, followed by the Serum Institute of India contributing Rs 50.25 crore. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel and Abhinand Ventures each donated Rs 50 crore, according to data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms.