The ruling BJP and principal Opposition party Congress are on the same page when it comes to not abiding by poll funding norms of the Election Commission. In its letter dated November 19, 2014, the EC had asked political parties to mandatorily submit details of their audited reports to it.

But, six months past the EC’s deadline of October 31, 2016, both national parties had not submitted their audited reports for 2015-16, says the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit election watchdog.

The Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) and the BSP are the only national parties to have submitted the reports on time, it added.

For 2014-15, too, Congress delayed its report by 125 days, the BJP by 104 days, and the NCP by 63 days, says the ADR report.

The report comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly calling for transparency in political funding.

As per the report, five national parties — BSP, NCP, CPI(M), CPI and AITC — have declared a total income of ₹200.76 crore, collected from all over India, in donations above ₹20,000.

CPI(M)’s income grows During 2015-16, the CPI(M) has shown the highest income among these five national parties with a total income of ₹107.48 crore, the ADR report says.

The analysis, which compares the total income of national parties between 2014-15 and 2015-16, found the BJP’s income at the highest.

“The party had declared a total income of ₹970.43 crore but is yet to submit its copy of income tax returns for 2015-16 to the EC,” said ADR in a press statement.

Unkown sources Among unknown sources of funding, the maximum funds of ₹37.565 crore were collected by the five parties under “voluntary contributions” during 2015-16. The second-most preferred unknown source of funding was “miscellaneous income”, under which these five national parties collected a total of ₹15.89 crore.

ADR said a party that does not submit its I-T returns or donation statement to EC on or before the due date, “their income should not be tax-exempted and defaulting parties should be derecognised,” adding that providing all information on finances under the Right to Information Act will only strengthen political parties, elections and democracy.