While Congress had rejected most of the suggestions, BJP failed to send its reply within the stipulated time, according to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by Rama Nath Jha, Director of Transparency International India.
However, senior BJP functionaries have said that they will offer their views on the matter at the forthcoming all-party meet which has been convened by EC on Feb 4.
In the Congress response, party Treasurer Motilal Vora has rejected the proposal saying it was “neither practical nor possible” to implement. He said it would not be possible for Congress to issue receipts to all persons or companies making donations.
“It is neither practical nor possible in a fluid situation in the midst of an election campaign to issue receipts to each individual making donations,” he said in the letter dated Oct 15, 2013. Other parties like CPI, CPI-M and Akali Dal had agreed to the EC proposal on transparency and receipt for transactions above Rs 20,000, but Samajwadi Party toed the Congress line saying that the proposal “seems impractical”. Samajwadi Party National General Secretary Prof Ram Gopal Yadav told EC that, “Regarding depositing of all donations or contributions received by the party in bank accounts within a reasonable time, we feel that these funds... may be required to meet the day-to-day expenses of the party. “As such, first depositing the money and subsequently withdrawing it will lead to unnecessary accounting transactions.” SP also wanted the Rs 20,000 ceiling to be increased, for which it has cited the depreciating value of the Rupee. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has expressed difficulty in studying the EC suggestions. BSP General Secretary Satish Chandra Mishra had sought an all-party meet on the issue and may put forth the party’s views at the February 4 discussions.
CPI-M has agreed to the EC proposal, but with certain riders. Nationalist Congress Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Shiromani Akali Dal, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, Indian Union Muslim League, Sikkim Democratic Front, CPI and DMK, however, have agreed to most of EC’s suggestions. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has partially agreed to some of the points in EC’s proposal. “Considering the enormous number of members in the party, it will be practically impossible to track cash receipts exceeding Rs 20,000 from a single person in a financial year. “There are no separate ledger accounts for tracking the receipts from each of the donors. In such circumstances, the proposal is impracticable for political parties to follow,” party chief J Jayalalithaa had said in a September 28, 2013 letter. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has said that it has made a note of EC’s suggestions. EC had on August 30, 2013, written to all recognized political parties seeking within a month’s time their comments on a 10-point list of suggestions regarding the framing of guidelines for transparency and accountability in funding. (PTI)