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Electoral bonds worth Rs 16,000 cr sold so far. Who got how much

February 15, 2024 16:14 IST

Electoral bonds have accounted for more than Rs 16,000 crore worth funds contributed to various political parties so far, a lion's share is estimated to have gone to the Bharatiya Janata party, data shows.

Photograph: ANI Photo

All political parties put together received more than Rs 12,000 crore till last fiscal since the introduction of the now-annulled electoral bond scheme in 2018, of which the ruling BJP got nearly 55 per cent or Rs 6,565 crore, according to the data available with Election Commission and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

While the party-wise data for the current fiscal 2023-24 would be available later after they file annual audit reports for the year, ADR put the collective amount of funds generated through sale of electoral bonds between March 2018 and January 2024 at Rs 16,518.11 crore.

On an average, these bonds are estimated to account for over half of total contributions received by the parties, though it is more than 90 per cent in case of some regional parties that are in power in their states.

In case of the BJP as well, electoral bonds account for more than half of its overall income.


The BJP replaced Congress as the country's richest party since the last year of UPA-II. It had total income of Rs 673.8 crore in fiscal year 2013-14, as against Rs 598 crore of the Congress.

Since then, BJP's income has mostly been rising while the Congress has seen its fortunes decline except for a few years in between.

In the year 2018-19, the first full fiscal after introduction of electoral bonds, BJP's income had more than doubled to Rs 2,410 crore (from Rs 1,027 crore), while that of the Congress also rose sharply from Rs 199 crore to Rs 918 crore.

During the last fiscal 2022-23, BJP's total income stood at Rs 2,360 crore, of which nearly Rs 1,300 crore came through electoral bonds. In the same year, the Congress saw its total income fall to Rs 452 crore, of which Rs 171 crore came through electoral bonds.

The BJP saw the funds coming through electoral bonds rise from Rs 1,033 crore in 2021-22, while that of the Congress fell from Rs 236 crore in that year.

Among other parties, TMC received Rs 325 crore through these bonds in the last fiscal, while it was Rs 529 crore for BRS, Rs 185 crore for DMK, Rs 152 crore for BJD and Rs 34 crore for TDP. The Samajwadi Party saw its electoral bonds contribution fall to nil, while that of the Shiromani Akali Dal was also zero.

Nearly half of funds in electoral bonds come from corporates, while the rest is from "other sources".

The Supreme Court on Thursday annulled the electoral bonds scheme for political funding, saying it violates the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to information.

An electoral bond is a financial instrument for making donations to political parties and it works like a bearing instrument without the name of the buyer or payee, thus giving the donor anonymity.

There is no upper limit on the number of bonds one can buy or donate, while these were available in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore, the last being the most sold category.

These bonds, only sold through select branches of state-run State Bank of India, need to be redeemed by the political parties within 15 days, failing which the fund gets transferred to the PM National Relief Fund.

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