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Cong income highest among national parties
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Feb 10 - The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch have listed the Indian National Congress (INC) in the top with the highest total income of Rs 3,388.78 crore between 2004-05 and 2013-14 amongst all the national parties.

In a report prepared by the ADR and National Election Watch that focuses on the income and expenditure of national and regional political parties in the north-eastern states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with an income of Rs 2,302.20 crore comes second.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had a total income of Rs 651.99 crore, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has declared a total income of Rs 283.62 crore, the Communist Party of India (CPI) had Rs 13.519 crore and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had a total income of Rs 769.07 crore during 2004-05 and 2013-14.

This report was released at a function held at the Guwahati Press Club today.

Among the regional parties, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) had the highest total income of Rs 39.99 crore, followed by the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) with an income of Rs 9.02 crore between 2004-05 and 2013-14.

On the other hand, the total income of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) was Rs 4.24 crore, Naga People’s Front (NPF) was Rs 43.78 lakh, Mizo National Front (MNF-ZNP) was Rs 67.33 lakh, Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) Rs 39.15 lakh, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Rs 1.08 crore, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) Rs 2.44 crore, National People’s Party (NPP) Rs 76.76 lakh, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) Rs 18.23 lakh, People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Rs 3.72 lakh, Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) Rs 3.50 lakh and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) was Rs 0.74 lakh between 2004-05 and 2013-14.

The report also highlights the spending spree of the political parties. The INC, BJP, NCP, CPI, AITC, NPP and BPF spent the largest part of their incomes on election matters, publicity and advertisement between 2004-05 and 2013-14. While the INC spent Rs 1605.91 crore on election matters, the BJP spent Rs 679.11 crore on advertising and publicity and the NCP spent a total of Rs 152.62 crore on election matters and publicity between 2004-05 and 2013-14.

Among the regional parties, the AITC spent Rs 879.78 lakh and the BPF spent Rs 89.59 lakh on election matters between 2004-05 and 2013-14. The AIUDF is the only political party which has spent about 41.16 per cent of its total expenditure (Rs 167.41 lakh) on helicopter hiring charges.

As per the report, the income of national political parties had shown a steady growth between 2004-05 and 2013-14. While the BJP’s income grew five times (Rs 569.69 crore) from Rs 104.12 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 673.81 crore in 2013-14, the INC’s income increased from Rs 124.93 in 2005-06 to Rs 598.08 crore in 2013-14.

However, the income of the AGP, BPF and SDF decreased between 2010-11 and 2011-12. The AGP’s income decreased from Rs 50.24 lakh in 2010-11 to Rs 20.54 lakh in 2011-12, BPF’s income decreased from Rs 117.5 lakh to Rs 28.59 lakh between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The ADR has suggested that no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank. It has recommended that full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. It said that details of donors who make donations to the electoral trusts, should be available in the public domain for transparency in funding of political parties. It has also suggested that any party which does not submit its donation statement to the ECI on or before October 31 should be heavily penalised.

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