Guwahati, March 19, 2019:
A report by Association for Democratic Reforms has exposed the income and expenditure of the political parties operating on Assamese soil during the 2017-18 season. Association for Democratic Reforms is an organization under the aegis of Assam Election Watch, a non-profit NGO,
National parties in Assam: Can you guess the income of the ruling BJP party in the country? A whopping Rs. 1,027.339 crores! And of that amount, the party spent an amount of Rs. 758.47 crores, while Rs. 268.869 crores remained unspent. The Congress party too is not far behind as the party declared an income of Rs. 199.15 crores while their expenditure was Rs. 197.43 crores. The CPM party had an income of 104.847 crores while they spent Rs. 83,842 crores. In total, Rs. 1346.20 crores were earned in by national parties, while 1051.09 crores were spent.
Regional parties in Assam: Among the regional parties in the state, the AIUDF were the biggest earners (Rs. 0.157 crores) and also the biggest spenders (Rs. 0.133 crores) while the AGP party earned Rs. 0.0912 crores and spent Rs. 0.097 crores.
Sources of Income: The sources of income of the political parties are:
Grant/donations/contributions, fees and subscriptions and interest income are some of the ways in which the parties earn income in the state.
The BJP received Rs. 989.707 crores from voluntary contributions, while the INC has earned Rs. 110.379 crores from the issuance of coupons. The AIUDF, meanwhile, has earned its 100% income from ‘contribution towards party fund’.
Items of expenditure: The parties spent the highest amount of money on election expenses, administrative and general expenses. It is to be mentioned that the BJP spent the highest amount (Rs. 567.43 crores) on election/general party propaganda.
Income and expenditure is a part and parcel of politics, but while the political parties from mainland India are spending a fortune in mobilizing their bases, regional parties lag behind in the spending business. National Election Watch state coordinator and founder of North East social trust Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, in a conversation with InsideNE, said: “The financial transparency in a democracy is the most important. The political funding is a transparent business all over the world except in India. As a result, in the backdoor, some political parties are being purchased by industrialists and thus, they do not work for the people. To collect the votes, the parties use fund given by crony capitalists, thus the policy of the country is pro-democracy and thus democracy in the country is becoming ‘Dhana-tantra’ (money rule). It is important to know what kind of power money has in the country.”
Disclaimer: Source for the data used in the report are the audited accounts and contribution statements submitted by the political parties to the Income Tax Department and the Election Commission of India.
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