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What Needs to Be Disclosed by March 31: 5 Charts to Gauge the Cash Flow Through Electoral Bonds

Numbers reflect the BJP's significant and towering gains from a scheme now deemed in violation of the right to information. 
Illustration: The Wire.

The Supreme Court has declared electoral bonds, which allowed individuals and companies in India to donate anonymously to political parties, unconstitutional. It has ordered the State Bank of India to furnish details on donations and the political parties which received them, to the Election Commission, which in turn has to publish the numbers by March 13.

As of now, the only indication of how much political parties have made from electoral bond donations are the amounts declared by the parties themselves in their Annual Audit Reports submitted to the Election Commission. Justice Sanjiv Khanna – part of the Supreme Court bench which pronounced the quashing verdict today – cited these figures in his separate but concurring judgment.

The figures, compiled by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative director Venkatesh Nayak, with the help of the EC’s website and reports published by the Association of Democratic Reforms, reflect the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s significant and towering gains from a scheme now deemed in violation of the right to information.

Figures filed by several parties are incomplete for certain years or unpublished on the EC’s website, reflecting the opaque nature of the scheme.

The following are a few charts that can help visualise the cash that flowed through political parties thanks to the scheme in the last six years.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is one of the parties who filed the plea against the electoral bonds scheme and did not accept donations through electoral bonds. It has thus not been included in any of the national or all-party lists.

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