ALSO READBy-election going on peacefully under tight security in Tripura Donation taken by party on record, scrutinized by IT department: NCP Now CPI (M) lashes out at BJP for misusing Indian Army for 'political gains' EC's order on Union budget 'peculiar': Yechury BJP leaked demonetisation info to benefit party: CPI-M
CPI-M has declared highest "cash- in-hand" at Rs 3.54 crore among national political parties, nearly a month before demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as the affidavits of two largest parties -- BJP and Congress -- are not available in public.
Venkatesh Nayak of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative analysed the "cash-in-hand" and assets declared by political parties before the Election Commission, which showed that Communist Party of India (Marxist) had Rs 3.54 crore followed by BSP (Rs 26.59 lakh), and CPI (Rs 88,468).
Every party is required to submit its audit report before the Election Commission to claim Income Tax exemption.
"While none of the political parties has so far volunteered detailed information about how they coped with the demonetisation-remonetisation drive, the audit reports for the financial year 2015-16 that some of them have submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) contain some clues about the amount of cash they may have had in hand," Nayak said.
He said the audit reports of three national parties - the BJP, the Indian National Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have not been displayed on the ECI's website.
"Perhaps these have not been submitted yet," he said.
Nayak claimed that in the state-level parties, the audit reports of the Aam Aadmi Party, Asom Gana Parishad, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (S) and Janata Dal (U), J&K National Conference, J&K People's Democratic Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal are among the prominent parties that have not submitted their audit reports for the year 2015-16.
The government does not seem to have initiated any action to revoke the IT-exemption for failing to submit audit reports within the deadline, Nayak said.
"The rules of transparency and accountability must apply to political parties as well and not just government or foreign-funded NGOs. If not, the promise of equal treatment of every person before the law under Article 14 of the Constitution becomes a sad joke," he said.
He said licenses of thousands of NGOs were cancelled for failing to file FCRA documents in time.
But, several parties -- AAP, BJP, INC, NCP, Shiv Sena and SP -- are contesting elections in five states without any qualms about missing the deadline for submitting their audit reports to the ECI.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)