Monday, November 14, 2005

The Parmarth Story

This is the story of Pramod Tiwari - A 41-year old whose education was limited to the school-level. He has the distinction of being the only candidate of the Parmarth party in the General Elections of 2004. Contesting from the Delhi Sadar constituency with Bread as his party symbol, he garners all of 126 votes (0.05% of valid votes). So what, you ask? Here's the thing: The Parmarth party was registered with the EC on 10th March 2004 - a few months before the election, and it received(PDF) Rs. 96,26,000/- as voluntary contributions in the financial year 2003-04. As a party registered with the EC, it is exempt from paying any tax on this amount - in spite of the party being unrecognized. And 97% of total contributions - Rs.93,50,000 - is funded by 3 firms, one of which shares its address with the Parmarth's party headquarters. Is all of this then just a charade to provide tax-breaks for these 3 firms?

P.S: Unfortunately, the link to the election affidavits that Pramod Tiwari would've submitted is broken. But according to Delhi Election Watch's report, he stated no criminal cases in his name, and that he does not have assets above Rs. 1 crore.

Update: Thanks to Thalassa Mikra for showing the way with how to use GoI websites :)

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