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The Electoral Bond Data: A Step Towards Transparency

Electoral Bonds: Transparency in Political Funding

The Election Commission of India recently took a significant step towards transparency by making public the data on electoral bonds received from political parties. This move came in response to a directive from the Supreme Court of India, emphasizing the need for openness in political funding. Electoral bonds, introduced in 2018, serve as a mechanism for individuals and corporations to donate money to political parties anonymously.

BJP Leads in Receipts, DMK Gets Major Donation

The disclosed data reveals that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s ruling party at the centre, has received the lion’s share of funding through electoral bonds, amounting to ₹6,986.5 crore. In a notable donation, Future Gaming and Hotel Services, a major purchaser of electoral bonds, contributed ₹509 crore to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. This highlights the significant role that electoral bonds play in the financial dynamics of Indian politics.

Supreme Court’s Role and Broader Implications

The Supreme Court’s intervention to make this data public underscores the judiciary’s role in ensuring transparency in political funding. The release of this information, covering transactions before April 12, 2019, is part of a broader effort to shed light on the financial operations of 523 recognized and non-recognized political parties. By mandating the disclosure of these details, the Supreme Court aims to foster a more transparent and accountable political funding landscape in India.

Monika Shanmugam