BJP richest political party in India with assets worth nearly 5000 crores; Congress has the most liabilities

According to a report by the Association Of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the total assets declared by seven national and 44 regional parties during FY 2019-2020 amounted to a total of approximately 8000 crores, of which BJP has the largest chunk which boils down to a whopping 69% of the total.

India’s ruling party BJP bagged the top spot in terms of assets owned which amounted to nearly 5000 crores which is double the combined wealth of the next four parties, according to a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). The party which has the symbol of lotus, a flower offered to the Hindu money goddess-Lakshmi has ironically 69% of the total assets owned by political parties in India.

The assets of 7 national parties amounted to a total of approximately 7000 crores, with the BJP alone contributing approximately 5000 crores to this total. BSP comes second with 698 crores, INC the grand old party comes third with 588 crores. The assets declared by political parties include; Fixed assets, loans & advances, FDR/ deposits, TDS, Investments, and other assets.

Interestingly CPM which always accuses entrepreneurs of being greedy and takes a stand against privatization and corporates has assets worth 569 crores. Its ideological brother party CPI has a partly 29 crores in assets, recently student leader Kanhaiya had left the party to join the Congress.

Regional parties have assets worth 2000 crores approximately with the SP having the highest amounting to 500 crores. India’s ruling party’s wealth grew 1.6 times from the preceding financial year, while the Congress party’s assets declined during this period. Of the BJP’s total income in the financial year that ended in 2020, some 3400 crores were donations and contributions.

Total combined liabilities of national and regional political parties for FY 2019-20 amount to ₹134.93 crores, out of which national and regional parties separately stands at ₹ 74.27 crores and ₹ 60.66 crores. For national parties, Congress declared the highest total liabilities of Rs 49.55 crore s(66.72 percent) followed by AITC which declared Rs 11.32 crores as liabilities. For regional parties, TDP declared the highest total liabilities of Rs 30.342 crores (50.02 percent) followed by DMK which declared Rs 8.05 crores.

The report also made some suggestions; by law, an auditor cannot audit a company for more than 5 years, but this rule is not applied to political parties which may cause parties to make their finances as opaque as possible. The report suggested that the rule must be made to cover political parties too and the CAG must choose the auditor instead of allowing the parties to select the same. Suggestions of a more stringent anual assessment of the income-expenditure statements of political parties were also made by the report.This uneven playing field for the political parties in a democratic India is not good and needs reforms as suggested by the report.

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