With declared income of over Rs 1,000 crore, BJP is the richest among the seven national political parties in India, says a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a Delhi-based think tank.
The party made an income of Rs 1,034 crore during 2016-17, which is about two-thirds the earnings of the national seven parties. The Congress is a distant second, with a declared income of Rs 225.36 crore, the report says.
The due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was October 30, 2017 but all the seven parties covered in the survey submitted their earnings and expenses late, the BJP overshooting the deadline by 99 days and the Congress by 139 days.
"The most surprising thing is that they are so late in giving this information but they face no consequences at all,'' said Jagdeep Chokkar, one of the founding members of ADR.
2016-17 seems to have been particularly good for the BJP as it improved its earnings by a whopping 81% compared to the year before. The source of income as declared by the political parties is grants, contributions and donations.
The spending pattern also holds no surprise with the top three expenditures being elections, campaigns and administrative reasons. But it seems, even here, the BJP's management far outweighs that of the Congress.
The Congress spent way beyond its means at Rs 321 crore which is close to Rs 100 crore more than what it earned during the financial year. The BJP declared an expenditure of ₹710.05 crore during the period.
According to data compiled from income-tax returns filed by the seven parties -- BJP, Congress, CPI, CPM, BSP, NCP and Trinamool -- the total expenditure was ₹1,228.26 crore.
Of the seven parties, CPI was at the bottom of the pile, with earnings of Rs 2 crore. The other Left party CPM was much better off at an annual income of Rs 100 crore, the report said.