Commending the Election Commission (EC) for suspending the recognition of Mizoram-based National Peoples’ Party for failing to submit its election expenditure report for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has pointed out that national parties such as BJP and Congress are equal defaulters in submitting their reports.
Availability of election expenditure statements of political parties with the Election Commission of India
- Among the National Parties, election expenditure statements of BJP and INC are not available for 5 Assembly elections held between 2011 and 2015 followed by CPI defaulting with its submission for 4 Assembly elections and CPI(M) in 1 Assembly election.
- The availability of election expenditure statements of Regional Parties is equally worrisome where the statements of JD(U) is unavailable for15 Assembly Elections while that of LJP is unavailable for 11 Assembly Elections and election expenditure statements of RSP and Shiv Sena are unavailable for 10 Assembly Elections held between 2011 and 2015.
|S. No.||Name of the party||Party code||No. of elections for which the expenditure statements are unavailable|
|1||Bharatiya Janata Party||BJP||5|
|2||Communist Party of India||CPI||4|
|3||Communist Party of India (Marxist)||CPI(M)||1|
|4||Indian National Congress||INC||5|
|5||Nationalist Congress Party||NCP||2|
|6||Aam Aadmi Party||AAP||2|
|7||All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||AIADMK||1|
|8||All India Forward Block||AIFB||6|
|9||All India Trinamool Congress||AITC||8|
|10||All Jharkhand Students Union Party||AJSUP||2|
|11||Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam||DMDK||1|
|12||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||DMK||1|
|13||Indian National Lok Dal||INLD||2|
|14||Indian Union Muslim League||IUML||5|
|15||Janata Dal (Secular)||JD(S)||9|
|16||Janata Dal (United)||JD(U)||15|
|17||Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party||JKNPP||8|
|18||Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||JMM||4|
|19||Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi||JPSS||1|
|20||Jharkhand Vikas Morcha||JVM||1|
|21||Kerala Congress (Anri-merger Group)||KC(AMG)||1|
|22||Lok Janshakti Party||LJP||11|
|23||Mizoram People’s Conference||MPC||1|
|24||Muslim League Kerala State Committee||MUL||3|
|25||Naga People’s Front||NPF||2|
|26||National People’s Party||NPP||4|
|27||Pattali Makkal Katchi||PMK||1|
|28||Rashtriya Janata Dal||RJD||9|
|29||Rashtriya Lok Dal||RLD||2|
|30||Revolutionary Socialist Party||RSP||10|
|33||United Democratic Party||UDP||1|
|34||Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P)||UKDP||2|
|35||Zoram Nationalist Party||ZNP||1|
Recommendations of ADR
While it is crucial for political parties to submit their expenditure statements for greater financial transparency, it is equally important to file the same within the time limit set by the ECI and endorsed by the Supreme Court of India. The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of expenditure to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.
ADR requests the ECI to issue show-cause notices to those recognised parties which have defaulted in filing their election expenditure statements incurred during Assembly Elections held in the last 5 years.