BJP got donations of ₹750 Cr in 2019-20, five times higher than Congress

The party has been receiving the biggest amount of donations from corporates and individuals for the past seven years

The BJP's strength in the Rajya Sabha was 55 in 2014 and has since steadily inched up as the party won power in a number of states.

The BJP, for the past seven years, has been receiving the highest amount of donations, both from corporates and individuals, and received around ₹750 crore, five times higher than the Congress in 2019-20, the contribution report submitted to the Election Commission (EC) has said.

According to the report sourced by Indian Express, the Congress in 2019-20 received donations totaling ₹139 crore. Other prominent parties like NCP got ₹59 crore, TMC got ₹8 crore, CPI(M) got ₹19.6 crore while the CPI received ₹1.9 crore in donations during the same time frame.

The ITC group (₹76 crore), Jupiter Capital (₹15 crore) owned by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, real estate companies like Macrotech Developers and BG Shirke Construction Technology (₹35 crore), the Prudent Electoral Trust (₹217.75 crore) and Jankalyan Electoral Trust (₹45.95 crore) had contributed the most to the saffron party’s election funds. Gulmarg Realtors, a real estate firm associated with builder Sudhakar Shetty has also contributed around ₹20 crore to the party in October 2019.

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An electoral trust is a company under Section 25 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 which receives donations from corporates and distributes them to political parties. Donors can contribute money anonymously to these trusts.

Apart from business houses, the BJP has also received a sizeable amount of donation from education institutions and its own MPs and MLAs. As many as 14 educational institutions have contributed to the party’s election fund including Mewar University (₹2 crore), Krishna Institute of Engineering (₹10 lakh), Surat-based GD Goenka International School (₹2.5 lakh) and Pathania Public School, Rohtak (₹2.5 lakh).

Among leaders, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has made the highest donation of ₹2 crore to the party. Other contributors are Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lala Khattar (₹5 lakh), his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu (₹1.1 crore) and actor-turned-politician Kirron Kher (₹6.8 lakh).

IE said that the BJP’s total donations for the year 2019-20 may be much higher than the quoted ₹750 crore as the contribution report only lists donations above ₹20,000 made by individuals, electoral trusts and companies.

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The party is yet to submit its annual audit to show income from electoral bonds, the deadline for which ends on June 30.