Hyderabad: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has become the richest regional party after it received the highest donation of Rs 130.46 Cr in 2019-20. The funding received by TRS constitutes 14.86% of the total income of all the regional parties.

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a Delhi-based election watch body, has analyzed the income and expenditure of 42 regional political parties. The study has concluded that the total funds received by 42 regional political parties stand at Rs 877.957 Cr.

Out of the 42 income reports analyzed, TRS headed by KT Rama Rao tops the list. It is closely followed by Shiv Sena in power in Maharashtra with Rs 111.403 Cr (which constitutes 12.69% of funds).

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSRCP has received Rs 92.739 Cr (which is 10.56 %) of total funds.

A document accessed by NewsMeter revealed that of the total income, TRS received Rs 89.15 Cr from 'unknown' or 'undisclosed' sources, while Rs 40. 90 Cr was received from individual entities. The breakup of funds indicated that 68.34% of TRS funds were raised via electoral bonds which are categorized as 'unknown'. More than 83.76% of funds of TRS have remained unspent.

YSRCP-A similar channel of funding has been identified with the YSRCP. The party received Rs 74.75 Cr through electoral bonds and Rs 9 Cr through known sources. The total unknown income of TRS and YSRCP together stands at Rs 163. 90 Cr.

It is significant to note, Political parties have multiple sources of funding. The funds have been received through electoral trust, electoral bonds, individual funders, party subscriptions,s and more. Fund sources have further been categorized as 'known' and 'unknown'.

What are known and unknown sources?

Association for Democratic Reforms defines known sources as donations above and below Rs 20,000, whose donor details are available through contribution reports as submitted by regional parties to the Election Commission of India.

While unknown sources are income declared in the Annual Audit reports but without giving source of income for donations below Rs. 20,000. Such funds include 'Donations via Electoral Bonds', 'sale of coupons', 'relief fund', 'miscellaneous income', 'voluntary contributions', 'contribution from meetings/ morchas'.

In funding of sorts, electoral Bonds have emerged as the most popular mode of donations to regional Political parties in 2019-20. More than 50.97% of the total income (Rs 447.498 cr) of the 42 Regional political parties came via electoral bonds.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting. You can follow Coreena on [email protected]

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