Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
The BJP annual audit report for the Financial Year 2017-18 has revealed that the party received 95% of the total electoral bond political donations made in the month of March 2018.
According to the figures, electoral bonds worth Rs 228 crore were sold in March, of which Rs 210 crores were donated to the BJP.
A screengrab shows the BJP’s audit report:
Even after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won just 31% of the vote share. The finding raises multiples questions – Are 95% of all political donors BJP supporters? If not, where are the supporters of other parties?
The answer may be found on the electoral bonds, which have alphanumeric series embossed on them.
The Quint Investigation on Electoral Bonds
In his Union Budget speech on 1 February 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the identity of electoral bond donors will be kept a secret. He added that it would make the scheme attractive, or the supporters would continue to donate in cash to remain anonymous.
In April, The Quint's investigation showed that the government had misled the nation on this claim. We purchased two electoral bonds and got them tested in a forensic laboratory. The report found that each bond had a unique alphanumeric number on its top right corner, which was only visible under ultra-violet light.
It means that through this hidden unique number, the government could know exactly who has bought an electoral bond and in support of which party.
There’s a real possibility that the identities of the political donors who bought electoral bonds could be known to the government, even though the information is not accessible to the public. The names of donors cannot be revealed by invoking a Right to Information (RTI) enquiry.
But the government can easily track the donors through the hidden numbers.
Why the Ruling Party Would Encourage its Donors to Purchase Bonds
The BJP could encourage the purchase of electoral bonds as it assures the party’s supporters that their identities will remain anonymous.
At the same time, with the hidden numbers, the government could also keep a track of electoral bonds being donated to the Opposition parties. Perhaps that is why donors supporting other parties have not bought electoral bonds.
It was reported that between March and October 2018, the government had sold electoral bonds worth Rs 873 Crores. 95% of that is roughly Rs 830 crores.
With Lok Sabha elections around the corner, political donations are likely to increase in the coming months. And guess who may continue to pocket 95% of it all?
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