HYDERABAD: Two Telugu parties, Telugu Desam Party and YSRC, were among the top three regional parties with highest funds received from unknown sources, according to a report by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).In contrast, closer home, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was among the few regional parties where every source of income was accounted for.
The report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) which analysed FY 2017-18 income of regional parties, pegged TDP at the top of the table with as much as Rs 7.511 crore coming from unknown sources -- translating to 38.72 per cent of its total income. At the third position is YSRC with Rs 5.889 crore unaccounted income which is 41.36 per cent of its total income. Karanataka-based Janata Dal (Secular) has the second highest income from unknown sources.
The report is based on income tax returns of the FY 2017-18 and donation statements of regional parties filed with the Election Commission of India. The reason behind the substantial amount of untraceable funds is because political parties, currently, are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000.
ADR report found that unknown sources were masked under overheads such as ‘voluntary contributions’ (75.22 per cent), ‘Donations via Electoral Bonds’ (18.95 per cent), ‘sale of coupons’ (5.56 per cent), ‘miscellaneous income’ (0.27 per cent), ‘relief fund’, ‘contribution from meetings/ morchas’ and so on.
“The details of donors of such voluntary contributions are not available in the public domain,” ADR said. In contrast, TRS, Tamil Nadu-based parties like DMK, AIADMK and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), Nagaland-based Naga People’s Front (NPF) and Jharkhand’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), had their sources of income accounted for."