Bulk of donations made to political parties are from unknown sources
Lucknow: A new disclosure that around seventy per cent of donations to political parties, on an average, are made by unknown sources may shock many in the non-political circles and pro-changers in the Modi government who are looking for reforms in different fields.
The revelation also means that there is an urgent need for electoral reforms. Some proposals have been already made by the Election Commission in this connection which are pending with the government at the Centre.
One of them is to reduce the limit of donation which is tax free and which does not require disclosure of source from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2000 and another to de-register parties which have not contested any election for the past ten years and exist only on paper for money-laundering purposes.
The Commission has been empowered to derecognise a political party which does not get certain percentage of votes but not to de-register any one of them. For this, the Representation of Peoples Act has to be amended which can be only done by parliament.
There is a hope of change in the situation because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already given hint that some electoral reform proposals are on the anvil.
While 70 per cent of the donations, on an average, made to parties are unknown , there is a party which has all the donations from unknown sources. The name is Bahujan Samaj Party.
The total donations made to the party is yet unknown and should be best left to conjecture but it is unlikely to be a small total in view of the fact there are more than Rs 100 crores in one of the party's accounts which the Central Bureau of Investigation already detected.
The grand old party , Congress, has more than 80 per cent donations from undisclosed sources. Similar is the case with the Samajwadi Party. It too has a very high percentage of such donations.
Comparatively, the BJP is much better than these as it has only 65 per cent of donations from unknown sources. These figures have been doled out by an agency, the Association for Democratic Reforms, conducting researches on reforms needed in the country. The period covered by the agency is 2004-2005 and 2014-15.
The study also covered donations made to the Aam Aadmi Party, a new entrant to political arena, which had fought elections in Delhi , the state it rules, mainly on corruption issue. The party has over 50 per cent donations from undisclosed sources.