Part 3: How BJP became the biggest beneficiary of UPA’s Electoral Trust scheme

ETs are instruments used by big businesses to donate money to political parties without directly declaring which party they support.

WrittenBy:Ragamalika Karthikeyan
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Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Congress received 19 paise for every 100 rupees that the BJP made from India Inc in 2022-23 through Electoral Trusts – a scheme where corporate companies pool their donations into a trust and distribute the total sum to various political parties, while remaining semi-anonymous. In fact, the total money that Congress has received in the 10 years between 2013 and 2023 through Electoral Trusts is less than the amount that BJP made through the same scheme in just 2022-23. 

There is no clarity on how these trusts operate, or how they decide on the sums that each political party receives. The monumental disparity in (partial) corporate funding for the two biggest parties in the fray for the 2024 General Elections raises questions about whether a fair playing field is even possible – and whether big corporations should have this large a say in how political parties perform in a democracy. 

In fact, most of the money that the BJP has received through this channel has come from one single organisation – Prudent Electoral Trust, set up by the Bharti group. 

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