Cash donations to political parties may be limited, election chief makes proposal

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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, who suggested limiting cash donations to political parties, wrote a letter to the Justice Ministry on Monday. CEC Kumar, in a letter to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, has proposed a cap at 20 percent or at Rs 20 crore, whichever is lower.

The Election Commission (EC) has proposed cutting anonymous political donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000 in an effort to filter black money from election funding, sources have said. In the letter, CEC recommended a number of changes to the People’s Representation Act (RP).

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Under the proposal, political parties are not required to report cash received less than Rs 2,000. Currently, the rules require political parties to disclose all donations above Rs 20,000 through a contribution report to be submitted to the EC.

The EC’s new proposal comes after the electoral body recently scrapped 284 defaulting and non-compliant registered unrecognized political parties (RUPPs). It declared more than 253 of them inactive.

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This came after the income tax department raided entities in multiple states in connection with a nationwide tax evasion investigation against certain Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPP) earlier this month. The agency is investigating their alleged dubious financial dealings.

The IT department’s action came on a recent recommendation from the EC, which recently removed at least 198 entities from the RUPP list after they were found not to exist during physical verification.

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The EC has announced that it is taking action against more than 2,100 entities it has categorized as RUPP. The action is being taken for violating rules and electoral laws, including rules regarding submitting monetary contributions, failing to update their addresses and names of office holders.

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(With input from ANI)

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