More than 66 per cent of the total income of seven national parties in 2021-22 came from "unknown sources" like electoral bonds, which accounted for a whopping 83 per cent, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The seven parties -- the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the CPI and the National People's Party -- collected Rs 2,172 crore from unknown sources in 2021-22, the NGO working for electoral reforms said, citing official data.
The income from unknown sources was 66.04 per cent of their total income. And, Rs 1,811.94 crore or 83.41 per cent of the income from unknown sources came through electoral bonds, it said.
The "unknown" sources are income declared in the annual audit report by these parties but without giving the source of income, according to the ADR.
At present, political parties are not required to reveal the name of individuals or organisations giving less than Rs 20,000 and those who donated via electoral bonds.
The ADR stated such unknown sources include donations via electoral bonds, sale of coupons, relief fund, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions, and contribution from meetings/morchas.
During the financial year 2021-22, the BJP declared Rs 1,161 crore as income from unknown sources which is 53.45 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources, it said.
"This income of BJP is Rs 149.86 crore more than the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties (Rs 1,011.18 crore)," the ADR said.
The TMC declared Rs 528 crore as income from unknown sources which is 24.31 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.
Between 2004-05 and 2021-22, the national parties collected Rs 17,249.45 crore from unknown sources, it said.
The combined income of the Congress and NCP from sale of coupons between 2004-05 and 2021-22 stands at Rs 4,398.51 crore, the ADR said.
"It is to be noted that TMC's total donations as per the audit report are worth Rs 38 lakh (excluding donations via electoral bonds) but the party has declared donations worth Rs 43 lakh in the donations statement (details of donations above Rs 20,000). Hence, there is a discrepancy in the party's statement for FY 2021-22," the ADR said.
The CPI has declared donations through levy, membership fee, party funds and election funds.
The organisation said that for this analysis, eight national parties were considered but the BSP declared that it did not receive any funds from voluntary contributions from unknown sources of income.