In the realm of Indian politics, a notable surge in the financial prowess of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been unveiled in a recent report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an esteemed electoral reform advocacy group. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the BJP declared assets amounting to a staggering Rs 4,990 crore, marking a significant escalation of 21.17 percent, culminating in a total of Rs 6,046.81 crore for the fiscal year 2021-22.
In a similar vein, the Indian National Congress (INC) experienced an upward trajectory in their financial standing. The INC’s assets, initially at Rs 691.11 crore in the fiscal year 2020-21, witnessed a commendable growth of 16.58 percent, amassing to Rs 805.68 crore in the subsequent fiscal year, as per the ADR’s meticulous analysis.
However, amidst these financial uptrends, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) presented a unique contrast. Unlike its peers, the BSP found itself in the throes of a 5.74 percent reduction in total assets, dwindling from Rs 732.79 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 690.71 crore in 2021-22, as per the ADR’s discerning report.
The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), on the other hand, emerged as a noteworthy example of financial growth, displaying an astounding surge of 151.70 percent in its assets. Elevating from Rs 182.001 crore in 2020-21, the TMC’s assets ascended to Rs 458.10 crore in 2021-22, as per the comprehensive analysis conducted by the ADR.
Furthermore, when considering the liabilities borne by these national parties, the ADR’s report revealed that Congress carried the highest burden, declaring liabilities amounting to Rs 71.58 crore in the fiscal year 2020-21, and Rs 41.95 crore in the subsequent fiscal year 2021-22. In this context, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and BJP also declared substantial liabilities of Rs 16.109 crore and Rs 12.21 crore, respectively, for the fiscal year 2021-22.
Notably, a few parties demonstrated a reduction in liabilities between 2020-21 and 2021-22. The INC, BJP, CPI(M), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) all reported decreases in their liabilities, emphasizing prudent financial management.
In terms of capital and reserve funds, the national parties showcased a commendable increase, setting aside a total of Rs 7,194 crore for the fiscal year 2020-21, which escalated to Rs 8,766 crore for the fiscal year 2021-22, once liabilities were adjusted, according to the ADR’s insightful assessment. In this regard, the BJP declared the highest capital reserve fund in the fiscal year 2021-22, standing at Rs 6,041.64 crore, with the INC and CPI(M) following closely with Rs 763.73 crore and Rs 723.56 crore, respectively.
Despite these revelations, it is worth noting that national parties have yet to fully adhere to the guidelines set by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which direct them to divulge intricate details regarding loans obtained from financial institutions, banks, or agencies. Additionally, the political parties have not provided adequate information regarding loans given in cash or kind, as specified by the guidelines, particularly when such loans constitute more than 10 percent of their total loans.
In conclusion, while the financial landscapes of these national political parties have seen notable fluctuations, the call for greater transparency in financial disclosures remains an ongoing endeavor, as articulated by the ADR. The ICAI’s guidelines on auditing, though endorsed by the Election Commission of India, await full implementation by political entities, emphasizing the need for more comprehensive financial transparency in the realm of Indian politics.