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EC to ask I-T to look into funds of 200 political parties

EC to ask I-T to look into funds of 200 political parties
The Election Commission would write to Income Tax authorities asking them to look into the finances of over 200 political parties it has ‘delisted’ for not contesting elections, suspecting these could have been used for converting black money into white.

The poll panel believes that most of them exist on papers to help people convert their back money into white by accepting donations.

The EC has, over a period of time, identified various parties which have not contested polls since 2005 and ‘delisted’ over 200 of them.

In the next few days, the Commission will send the list of these delisted parties to the income tax authorities seeking action against them under relevant laws if they are found to be involved in money laundering.

The poll panel has the mandate to register a political party but does not have the power under electoral laws to deregister any party.

As its demand for power to deregister a party is pending with the Law Ministry, the Commission used its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to delist parties for being dormant and not contesting elections for a long time.

There are over 1780 registered but unrecognised political parties in the country. Besides, there are seven national parties -- BJP, Congress, BSP, TMC, CPI, CMI-M and NCP - and 58 state parties.

Seeking to stem flow of black money in elections, the Commission has proposed a slew of electoral reforms but most are pending with the government.

Nat’l parties got Rs 102 cr in donations above Rs 20K

National political parties received over Rs 100 crore in 2015-16 in the form of donations above Rs 20,000, the limit above which funding sources have to be disclosed, as per a report.

The BJP led the pack at Rs 76.85 crore from 613 donations while Congress declared receiving Rs 20.42 crores from 918 donations.

The donations less than Rs 20,000 evade scrutiny and Election Commission recently has recommended to the government to ban anonymous contributions of Rs 2,000 and above to the parties. “The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the National Parties was Rs 102.02 crores from 1,744 donations,” the report said.

Jointly prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), the analysis says that the donations declared by BJP is more than thrice the aggregate declared by the Congress, NCP, CPI, CPI-M and Trinamool Congress for the same period. Prepared on the basis of declarations made by the parties to the Election Commission, it says BSP did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during 2015-16, “as it has been declaring for the past 10 years.” 

A comparison of the total donations received by the parties in 2014-15 and 2015-16 shows that it saw a decrease of 84 per cent or Rs 528.67 crore.
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