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DMK has highest income among regional political parties, followed by the AIADMIK and TDP
DMK has the highest income of Rs 77.63 crores amongst all the regional political parties, followed by Tamil Nudu's ruling party AIADMK with Rs 54.938 crore and Andhra Pradesh and Telengana-based party TDP with Rs 15.978 crore. These three parties alone comprise of more than 67 per cent of the total income of 32 regional parties, collectively.

The report, prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) focuses on income and expenditure of regional parties, during the financial year 2015-16, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Out of the total 47 regional parties, only one-third had submitted their audit reports on time. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) was the first party to submit, on 11th June, 2016 while Delhi's ruling party AAP was the last to submit its report on 13th July, 2017, 254 days after passing of the due date. Sixteen regional parties delayed their submissions by several days, ranging from 22 days to over 8 months or 254 days. Fifteen regional parties which have not submitted their audit report to the ECI till date include some of the major regional political parties like SP, JKNC, RJD, INLD, AINRC, AIUDF, AJSU, MGP etc.

The total income of the 32 regional parties for 2015-16 was Rs 221.48 crore of which, the parties spent Rs 111.48 crores and declared an unspent amount of Rs 110 crore (49.67 per cent unspent of total income). fourteen out of the 32 regional parties have reported incurring expenditure more than their total income. Out of these, 3 parties, JVM-P, JDU and RLD spent close to 200 per cent of their total income in the year 2015-16.

Three parties ie DMK, AIADMK, and AIMIM, had more than 80 per cent of their income remaining unspent.

Only 17 regional parties provided information with regards to unknown sources of income collected under 'voluntary contributions' totalling Rs 28.945 cr in 2015-16, which formed 71.28 per cent of the total income from unknown sources of regional parties.

National parties declared collecting 68.57 per cent (Rs 708.48 cr) of their total income from unknown sources during 2015-16. Out of the 17 regional parties, JMM is the only party not to have declared any income from unknown sources during 2015-16.

The second most preferred unknown source of funding was “gross receipts”, through which a total of Rs 6.59 crore were collected, forming 16.23 per cent of their total income from unknown sources. Parties with highest unknown sources of income are: TRS (Rs 7.245 crores), TDP (Rs 6.876 crores) and SAD (Rs 6.59 crores). For TRS and SAD, their income from unknown sources formed more than 81 per cent of their total income.

The Supreme Court had given a judgment on September 13, 2013 ruling that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Along the same lines, ADR recommend that the Election Commission of India should impose rules that no part of Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be left blank. It also said that full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for 75 per cent of the sources of funds to remain unknown. ADR had said that the regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will only strengthen political parties, elections and the democracy.

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