Election Commission reveals Tatas gave Rs 356 crore to the BJP in 2018-19

This was the highest amount received by the party from any corporate


The Election Commission of India, on the basis of annual contribution reports submitted by political parties, has revealed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised Rs. 800 crore in FY 19 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in May this year. Corporate India contributed over Rs. 472 crore to the party and over 75%, Rs. 356 crore, came from the Tata group’s Progressive Electoral Trust (PET) alone.

It is to be noted that the contributions from PET have gone up 20 times since 2014-15. While in 2014-15, it disbursed Rs. 25.11 crore to political parties, this year the cdole out has gone up to Rs. 600 crore.

The Congress received around Rs. 99 crore from four electoral trusts, of which 56%, Rs. 55.6 crore was handed over by PET.

While donations to the ruling party almost trebled, the Congress saw a surge of over eight times from last year. According to a report by The Times of India, total contributions to the BJP this year were up 69.5% from Rs. 437.69 crore in 2017-18. Congress received total donations Rs 146.8 crore in 2018-19, up from Rs. 26.66 crore in 2017-18. 


(Image Credit – The Times of India)

It is also interesting to note that the PET, which had not contributed to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) last year, distributed Rs. 43 crore to the party this year.

The second largest donor to the BJP was Prudent Electoral Trust, which is funded by the Bharti Airtel, DLF and the Hero group. This trust donated Rs. 67 crore to the BJP and Rs. 39 crore to the Congress. Last year, Prudent Electoral Trust had contributed Rs. 154 crore to the BJP and only Rs. 10 crore to the Congress.

The A B General Trust, the fourth largest contributor made payouts of Rs. 28.5 crore to the BJP and Rs. 2 crore to the Congress. This up from Rs. 12.5 crore and Rs. 1 crore to the BJP and Congress respectively.

Bharatiya Socialist Republican Electoral Trust is the fourth largest contributor to the Congress, with a modest Rs. 25 lakh.

BJP also gained a total of Rs. 10 crore, Rs. 5 crore and another Rs. 2.5 crore from the Harmony Electoral Trust, Triumph Electoral Trust and New Democratic Electoral Trust and Janhit Electoral Trust.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) received Rs. 182.8 crore, Shiv Sena – Rs. 130.6 crore, TDP – Rs. 26.2 crore, YSR – Rs. 80.6 crore, CPM – approx. Rs. 3 crore, CPI – Rs. 1.6 crore and NCP – Rs. 12.1 crore. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) declared nil contributions in excess of Rs. 20,000.

However, experts say that these figures do not give a clear picture of the total funds. The EC has not made any announcement of funds received from electoral bonds which are more preferable to the corporate world as the identity of the donor is kept confidential. However, in 2019, the Supreme Court directed political parties to submit receipts of amounts and the identity of donors to the EC.

Electoral bonds have been with stern resistance from parties like the CPI (M). They argue that ordinary citizens will not be able to know who is donating how much to which political party. BJP has been the biggest beneficiary of electoral bonds, garnering 94.5% of the bonds worth around Rs. 210 crore.


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