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The Indian National Congress, the oldest political party also happens to be the richest party in the political fray.
The party's worth as reflected in the income tax returns from 2001-02 to 2005-06 has multiplied by almost five times over the five years. The figures disclosed by the party also go to show how power can make a difference to a party's fortunes. In 2001-02 the party has disclosed its net worth as Rs44.32 crore which grew to Rs54.36 crore in 2002-03, more than doubled to Rs128.66 crore in 2003-04 (the election year) and further to Rs159.35 crore in 2004-05. On March 31, 2006 the party's net worth stood at an incredible Rs214.87 crore.
Party's fixed deposits also show a sudden spurt following the last general elections. In 2001-02 FD's declared by the party were over Rs30.47 crore, Rs34.35 crore in 2002-03 and Rs44.49 crore in 2003-04. This figure went up almost two and half times to Rs104.73 crore soon after the party came to power in 2004-05 and swelled to Rs 146.64 crore the next year.
The Congress party had shown an income nearly Rs221 crore in 2004-05 which is the highest in all five years. From Rs61.49 crore in 2002-03 the party's income swelled to Rs 152.90 crore in 2003-04 and further more in the next year.
The party has also shown to have received voluntary donations to the tune of Rs 80.91 crore with almost half of the amount coming in 2004-05 that of Rs41.27 crore. The other big sources of income for the party are interest received: Rs22.92 crore, in five years.