At Rs 670 crore, BSP has biggest bank balance among parties
- The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has the biggest bank balance among all parties, with a total of Rs 669 crore deposited in eight accounts in branches of public sector banks
- Samajwadi Party, occupies the second slot with Rs 471 crore in its bank accounts
The party, which scored a blank in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has also declared Rs 95.54 lakh as cash in hand. The expenditure report is based on details of the central kitties of parties. Samajwadi Party, occupies the second slot with Rs 471 crore in its bank accounts. The party’s cash deposits dipped modestly after the recent assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana, coming down by Rs 11 crore.
Congress takes third spot with Rs 196 crore in bank balance. However, this is based on the details the party submitted to the EC on November 2 last year after the conclusion of assembly polls in Karnataka. The party has not updated the details about its reserves after it won the state elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
BJP occupies fifth position with a bank balance of Rs 82 crore, and lags another regional outfit, Telugu Desam Party which has shown a deposit of Rs 107 crore.
The amount shown by BJP looks rather small considering that it is way ahead in mopping up contributions, including through electoral bonds. A possible explanation comes from the details it has submitted. The party has claimed to have spent Rs 758 crore — the largest expenditure by any party — of the Rs 1,027 crore it had raised in 2017-18.
87% of parties’ income through contributions
The SP’s cash reserves dipped by Rs 11 crore during the November-December polls for the four assemblies of Chhattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan and Telangana. In contrast, BSP, which collected Rs 24 crore during these elections, saw its reserves improve from Rs 665 crore to Rs 670 crore.
According to an analysis of income tax returns of these parties, carried out by Association for Democratic Reforms, BJP showed the highest income with contributions worth Rs 1,034 crore for 2016-17 and Rs 1,027 crore in 2017-18. During the same period, BSP’s income nosedived from Rs 174 crore to Rs 52 crore. Congress’s income for 2016-2017 is shown as Rs 225 crore. It has not declared its income in the subsequent financial years to the EC. CPM has declared an income of over Rs 100 crore on an average in each of the last few financial years. About 87% of the income of these parties is through voluntary contributions, with BJP being the only one to have shown a gain of Rs 210 crore through electoral bonds in 2017-18.