75 pc of political party funding is a mystery

40607_S_political-party-fundPoltical parties have received funds to the tune of Rs 4895.6 crore between 2004 and 2012 and the irony is that 75 per cent of these funds cannot be traced. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms 75% of the funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources. This becomes very relevant in the light of recent events when the National Political Parties were brought under the RTI Act by a CIC ruling.

ADR states that the total income of political parties between 2004-05 and 2011-12 is Rs 4,895.96 crores. Out of this Rs 105.86 crore were obtained as donations from electoral trusts. This would constitute just 2.16 per cent of the total income of political parties.

Total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from contribution report submitted by parties to Election Commission) is Rs 435.85 crore, which is 8.90% of the total income of the parties.

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I am the top contender

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Siddaramaiah who is the front runner to the post of Chief Minister said at Bangalore a while ago that he is the main contender to the post. He however was quick to add that the matter was left to the High Command and he would abide by any decision taken by them.

Siddaramaiah said that he would be leaving for Delhi but did not mention that his visit was to speak about his candidature for the CM’s post. He said he would be in New Delhi to thank Sonia Gandhi for her support during the campaign.

Siddaramaiah said that first priority of the Congress would be to provide good administration. We will continue our fight against corruption and it would be against the JD(S) or even the BJP. Remember we are the ones ensured that Janardhan Reddy went to jail. No one who is corrupt will be spared, Siddaramaiah assured.

“I am not a CM aspirant”

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He has been a chief minister in waiting for quite some time. The post has alluded him twice in the past and this time too for a brief period his name was doing the rounds.
Mallikarjuna Kharge, union labour and employment minister and former home minister of Karnataka has joined the Congress campaign for the Karnataka elections putting to rest all speculations of a rift in the party. In this interview with rediff.com, Kharge says that he is not an aspirant to the chair of the CM, but also adds that the final decision would be with the high command.

Continue reading ““I am not a CM aspirant””

25% MLA’s have criminal records

As the country gears up to witness the assembly elections at four states and one Union Territory, it would be pertinent to note that 25% MLAs in the outgoing assemblies have pending criminal cases against them.

Out of the 140 candidates analysed from the Kerala legislative assembly, 69 have pending criminal cases while 18 have very serious charges against them. In the case of Tamil Nadu, 234 candidates have been analysed of which 77 have pending cases of which 25 have serious charges pending against them. At Puducherry 30 have been analysed of which 5 out of the 6 have serious charges pending against them. In West Bengal 30 have serious charges while 40 have criminal cases pending against them. The NEW has managed to scrutinize the records of 283 MLAs from this state. In the case of Assam, 126 candidates have been analysed of which 5 have serious charges and 7 criminal charges pending against them.

The overall figure for these states and one union territory is- out of the 813 candidates analysed 204 have pending charges against them while 83 have serious charges.

M Vijay Kumar of the CPI(M) from Kerala tops the list with 13 cases while K U Narayan Chaudhary of the Indian National Congress in West Bengal comes in second with 12 cases. Ranganatha N B of the DMK is third with nine cases against him.

NEW has also found that about 50% of the MLAs analysed (403 MLAs out of 813) did not declare their PAN card details in their previous affidavits. The current format of the affidavit, where candidates have to declare date and other details of their last income tax filed, will make it easy to catch tax deafulters.

The report also states that despite public statements by the presidents of various political parties that they are strongly in favour of increasing the representation of women in the assemblies, the number of women MLAs is very low. It is barely 9.5% (i.e. 77) across these assemblies. In fact, Puducherry has no women MLAs and Kerala has only 7% women MLAs.

In terms of crorepati MLAs c has the lead with 57. Assam comes in at two with 16 while Puducherry and Kerala have nine and 8 respectively. West Bengal has the least number of these MLAs at 7 according to the report.

The richest MLA in the list is Vasanth Kumar of the Indian National Congress from Tamil Nadu whi is worth around 36.13 crore while Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi is second with Rs 26.5 crore.