NEW DELHI: Three regional parties made up almost 46 per cent of the total income of around 37 other regional outfits, an Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) report revealed. The Uttar Pradesh-based Samajwadi Party (SP), Tamil Nadu-based Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Telangana-based Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) raked in Rs 47.19 crore, Rs 35.74 crore and Rs 27.27 crore respectively of the total Rs 237 crore raised by all the regional outfits.
In terms of expenditure, the SP was again at the top of the list with a total expenditure of Rs 34.59 crore.
It was followed by the DMK with Rs 27.47 crore and the Andhra Pradesh-based Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with Rs 16.73 crore, said the report. Interestingly, a total of 15 parties have shown a decline in their income when compared to previous years, while 19 of them reported a rise in their income, it said.
The Election Commission of India (EC) mandates all political parties to submit their audit reports.
In 2018, the parties were supposed to submit their reports by October 30. While 20 outfits submitted their reports on time, 17 did it past the deadline. Eleven parties did not submit the report at all, said the organisation.
Commenting on the decline in the income of the regional parties, a research scholar at ADR said the BJP is the reason. “The regional outfits hitherto had a very loyal base but with the BJP emerging as a strong opponent even of the regional outfits, the loyalty and the finances for these parties have dwindled,” she said.
In terms of defaulters, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the National People’s Party (NPP) have not submitted their audits for the past 14 and 13 years respectively while former prime minister Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) is the only party that has declared income through electoral bonds. With regard to the source of income, parties raked in Rs 86 crore through membership fees. The next two top sources of income were donations and bank interest.