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Prudent Trust reduced BJP-Congress funding gap in Lok Sabha polls

In 2017-18, Prudent had given a staggering Rs 144 cr to BJP and a mere Rs 10 crore to the Congress.
NEW DELHI: The richest electoral trust and one of the biggest funders of the BJP since 2013-14, Prudent Electoral Trust, did a surprising ‘balancing act’ just ahead of Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.

Latest details submitted with the Election Commission show that for the first time since 2013-14, Prudent reduced the funding gap between the Congress and the BJP in 2018-19.

From its corpus of Rs 182.3 crore in 2018-19, Prudent donated Rs 52.75 crore to the BJP and Rs 39 crore to the Congress, ET has found after reviewing the contribution reports of the electoral trusts.

The fund flow increased significantly in March this year just as Lok Sabha elections were announced. Prudent sent in over Rs 40 cr to the BJP and ?16 cr to the Congress in March. This is the biggest amount given by the trust to the Congress since 2013-14.

In 2017-18, Prudent had given a staggering Rs 144 cr to BJP and a mere Rs 10 crore to the Congress.

In 2015-16, it donated 95.74%, or Rs 45 cr, of its Rs 47-crore corpus to BJP and remaining Rs 2 crore to Congress. In 2016-17, it donated 88.90%, or Rs 252.22 cr, to BJP and Rs 4 cr to the Congress.

It contributed 48.44% (Rs 41.37 cr) of its donations to the BJP in 2013-14 when it was known as Satya Electoral Trust.

Besides Congress, Prudent has given Rs 27 crore to the YSR Congress, Rs 25 crore to the Telugu Desam and Rs 16.5 crore to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Biju Janata Dal got Rs 2 crore, Nationalist Congress Party got nearly one crore and Aam Aadmi Party managed to get Rs 12 lakh in 2018-19.

Prudent continues to draw the bulk of its funding from the Bharti Enterprises, GMR and DLF groups. Bharti send in Rs 39 crore while GMR pitched in Rs 30 crore and much more through its subsidiaries. DLF gave Rs 10 crore. GMMCO, Jubliant Foodworks, National Engineering Indistries Limited are among other prominent funders of Prudent.

The Aditya Birla General Electoral Trust gave Rs 28 crore from it corpus of Rs 57 cr to the BJP. The Congress got a measly Rs 2 crore. Interestingly, the Biju Janata Dal won a Rs 27 crore from the trust.
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