Monetary resources are very important to win elections in any democratic country. The elections in India cost far less than countries like United States but still it plays an important role for any political party. The amount of donation any party receives is directly proportional to its electoral prospects in upcoming elections. The ruling party is always at forefront of bagging monetary contributions for corporate. There are ideological considerations too, a party that is more capitalist on the ideological spectrum is more likely to receive heavy donations from corporates. The corporate houses bid on the parties which are more likely to win upcoming elections to have more leverage over upcoming government. Therefore, a higher corporate donation to any party also suggests that winnability of that party is higher for upcoming elections.
The corporate donations to Congress party has moved southward in recent years. Former chief of Congress IT cell, Divya Spandana complained about funding, “We don’t have money in comparison to the BJP, the party is not getting much funding via electoral bonds,” she said. Congress party is facing financial problems for the last few years. They have not sent funds to their local and state units to cover their respective daily expenditure, and these units now depend on crowdfunding to make their ends meet. According to the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), Congress earned one-fourth of the funds that BJP earned in the financial year ending March 2017. The BJP declared an income of 10.34 billion rupees ($152 million) during this period, an increase of 81 percent from a year ago. The curbs on party members and local units extend beyond travel to trivial expenses like allowances for serving tea to guests at party offices.
The income of the party reduced drastically over the last few years because neither the corporate nor the people see any future in the party. Since Rahul Gandhi became the party President the prospects of the party seem to have further worsened. The corporates are not funding Congress party for the last few years because they are confident that the party has no future in India. The anti-business activities by Congress party like opposing GST, land reforms, labor reforms etc have miffed the corporate houses.
The shortage of funding is not limited to Congress, other smaller parties is also facing cash crunch. The funding to BJP has increased by 464 crore rupees in FY 17 in comparison to FY 16 while that of BSP increased by 173 crore rupees. The funding to parties which are on verge of extinction like CPM has reduced drastically. Anti-corporate stance of Mamata Banerjee has also led to reduction in funds to TMC, the income of the party fell by 81.52 percent. The total funding to seven national parties (BJP, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), and Trinamool Congress increased by 51 percent to 1,559 crore from 1,033 crore in previous fiscal year.
BJP takes largest chunk of political funding with 1,034 crore which is almost equal to the total funding of the seven national political parties in previous fiscal year and two third of funding to national parties this year. The corporates and individual donors back the parties with high prospects. Therefore, the reduction in funding to Communist parties, Trinamool suggests their political prospects are low in the upcoming elections. BJP alone bagged almost two third of total funding which means that its political prospects are very high for the upcoming general elections.
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