Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Traditional parties conceal more than they reveal

Most political parties are disclosing only a tiny part of the huge contributions they are receiving, charged the Lok Satta Party today.

Commenting on the report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao pointed out that going by the expenses the traditional parties incur on rallies and conferences, election campaigning and vote purchases, they seem to be reporting just one-tenth of their collections.

If the parties had disclosed even the tiny amounts, it is because the Lok Satta in 2003 facilitated passage of the law under which contributions to political parties enjoy income tax exemption.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that parties like the Congress, BJP and TDP claimed to have received up to 40 percent of the contributions during 2007-11 by cheque. Apparently, they are accounting only for a small portion of huge cash they collect.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao underlined the need for electoral reforms to curb the deployment of black money in elections and the running of parties.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao conceded that a political party definitely needs money for its functioning but it should be collected in an ethical and transparent manner. The Lok Satta Party accounts for every pie it collects and spends and is attempting to become self-reliant with members' help.

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