BJP, Congress accepted foreign funding too, Vedanta top donor
Even as the Congress and BJP have repeatedly cried foul over foreign funds received by the Aam Aadmi Party, the two accepted combined foreign funds worth Rs 29.2 crore, says a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).<br /><br />
Even as the Congress and BJP have repeatedly cried foul over foreign funds received by the Aam Aadmi Party, the two accepted combined foreign funds worth Rs 29.2 crore, says a study by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Vedanta group of the London-based NRI Anil Agarwal is the single largest donor to both Congress and BJP. Its Sterlite Industries India Limited donated Rs 6 crore to the Congress, while Sesa Goa Limited contributed another Rs 2.785 crore. Meanwhile, Vedanta The Madras Aluminium Company donated Rs 3.50 crore to the BJP in twoinstallments while Sesa Goa Ltd contributed Rs 1.415 crore during the period 2004-2015.
Two other donors of the Congress are Solaries Holdings Ltd, who gave Rs 1 crore, and the Hyatt Regency group which donated Rs 5 lakh.
BJP's other foreign contributions include Rs 14.50 crore given by the Public and Political Awareness Trust, based in Silvasa and Dow Chemicals International Private Ltd, which gave Rs 1 lakh.
Under Sections 3 & 4 of Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976, political parties are not permitted to accept contributions from foreign companies or companies controlled in India by foreign companies. Section 293A of Company Act, 1956 states that any Company found to have made such a donation will be made to pay 3 times the amount contributed to the party along with imprisonment of the authorising officer of up to 3 years with fine.
The ADR, a Delhi-based NGO, had filed a PIL in Delhi High Court in January 2013 alleging that the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have violated the Representation of People's Act (RPA) 1951 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by taking donations from the government companies and foreign sources, prohibited under both the legislations.
In their counter affidavits, the home ministry, Congress and BJP argued that an Indian subsidiary of a foreign company making donations to political party is legal if the majority of stakes in the foreign company are held by an Indian.
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