Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Opposition including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress targeted the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday alleging that the money the second richest regional political party received through donations last year was all black money.

The BJP in particular was critical of the recent Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, which mentioned the ruling party of Odisha as the second richest regional party in the country, marginally behind the DMK. The saffron party alleged that the BJD is yet to reveal the source of its income keeping the public in dark.

Budhan Murmu, BJP MLA from Saraskana said, “The BJD, as a political party has obligation to disclose the actual source of donations it received. As all the other parties are disclosing their source, the BJD should do that too. I think they are hiding the source because it is black money and it will put them in trouble.”

“The donation of Rs 307 crore, which the BJD is claiming to have received is all black money and it is exactly why they are trying to hide the source of the money,” alleged Congress’ Santosh Singh Saluja.

“They should come clean on this as soon as possible,” he said.

Replying to the allegations, BJD MLA, Parsuram Dhada said, “We do not have anything to hide. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik believes in clarity in all matters concerning governance and the party. If the party has not provided source details of the donations, it will do so soon.”

As per the ADR report, the total income of 36 regional parties for FY 2021-22 was Rs 1213.132 crore. The BJD reported having the second-highest income of Rs 307.288 crore which is 25.33 percent of the total income of all the parties analyzed. It was marginally behind DMK which has the highest income at Rs 318.745 crore. The TRS reported its income at Rs 218.112 crore or 17.98% of the total income of all parties.

Of the total regional parties that have submitted their audit reports, 10 parties (DMK, BJD, TRS, YSR-Congress, JDU, SP AAP, SAD, MGP, and TDP) have declared receiving donations worth Rs 852.88 crore in total through Electoral Bonds.

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