Clean politics? No electoral bonds, negligible contributions over Rs 20,000 in Nagaland

Source: Table based on annual 'Contribution Reports' submitted by political parties to the ECI.

Source: Table based on annual 'Contribution Reports' submitted by political parties to the ECI.

Moa Jamir
Dimapur | March 21 

Electoral Bonds have become one of the most topical subjects of discussion following the landmark Supreme Court judgment on February 15 and subsequent publication of data by the Election Commission of India (ECI). 

However, it seems to be of no consequence for recognized State parties in Nagaland. 

The names of both the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and Naga People’s Front (NPF) were missing from the list of political parties receiving funds via Electoral Bonds. 

In the initial Electoral Bonds data released by the ECI on March 14, the name of NPF featured only in the ‘sealed cover’ envelope submitted to the Commission by each political party in India. 

In the letter dated November 13, 2023, the NPF declared that the Party “never received any Electoral Bond(s) thus far.” The submission was in response to the Supreme Court Order Dated November 2, 2023, in connection with the hearing on Electoral Bonds. 

The other political party in the list was the “United Naga Democratic Party,” which also made a similar submission.
Incidentally, the name of the NDPP was not found in the documents in the initial scrutiny of over 1200 files by The Morung Express. 

However, annual audit reports submitted by the political parties to the ECI indicate that till 2022-23, the NDPP did not receive any funds via Electoral Bonds. 

Moreover, if one goes by the contributions/donation reports submitted by both NDPP and NPF to the ECI, politics in Nagaland appears to be one of the cleanest in India, with even contributions above Rs 20,000 being negligible at best, and ‘Nil’ for most years.

Political parties in India have to file a Form 24A with the ECI, which among other things, have to furnish details of “contributions received, in excess of rupees twenty thousand” during each financial year (FY).

Rs 2.88 cr for NDPP, Rs 84 lakh for NPF
As per the contribution reports submitted each year by each party to the ECI, the total amount received by the NDPP in excess of rupees twenty thousand was Rs 2,88,76,000 from FY 2018-19 till 2022-23. However, it was only in FYs 2018-19 and 2022-23 that the party received such contributions.

In 2022-23, it received Rs 1, 67, 00000 from two companies/agencies. The first contribution was a sum of Rs 50, 99,000 received from a company associated with Jal Jeevan Mission in Nagaland. The other was from an entity associated with excise, which contributed Rs 70, 77,000. 

An amount of Rs 1, 67, 00000 in total was received in FY 2018-19 from 10 individuals/contractors/business establishments, with one individual contributing Rs 50 lakh and another establishment donating Rs 58 lakh. 

All contributions were either in cheques or via bank transfers.

Overall, in the 2022-23 FY, the NDPP received Rs 1, 93, 84,300 as voluntary contributions as per the audit report submitted to the ECI. 

Meanwhile, during the past one decade, the NPF declared contributions above Rs 20,000 only in one FY in 2014-15, when it received a total of Rs 84 lakh from six individuals, with four contributing Rs 20 lakh each in cheque. The rest – Rs 4 lakh was in cash, the submission stated.

As per its audit report for 2022-23, the NPF received Rs 5, 80,300 via “Members' contribution & Subscription.”