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The Election Commission has published detailed data on electoral bonds on its website, sourced from the State Bank of India (SBI), in adherence to a deadline set by the Supreme Court. The information reveals several notable buyers of electoral bonds, including prominent industrialists and companies like steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Airtel’s Sunil Bharti Mittal, Vedanta, ITC, and Mahindra and Mahindra.

Additionally, a lesser-known entity, Future Gaming and Hotel Services, which is currently under scrutiny by the Enforcement Directorate, emerged as a significant buyer with electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,350 crore.

Also Read: Hafta vasooli, shell companies & kickbacks: Congress claims poll bond details open a can of worms

Among the known corporates, Agarwal’s Vedanta Ltd bought Rs 398 crore worth of bonds, while Sunil Mittal’s three companies together purchased a total of Rs 246 crore worth of bonds.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal bought Rs 35 crore worth of bonds in his individual capacity. Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering, which has bagged contracts of several large infrastructure projects, bought bonds worth Rs 966 crore.

READ MORE: Electoral bond data: Future Gaming and Megha Engineering top donors to political parties

The parties that redeemed electoral bonds include the BJP, Congress, AIADMK, BRS, Shiv Sena, TDP, YSR Congress, DMK, JD-S, NCP, Trinamool Congress, JDU, RJD, AAP, the Samajwadi Party, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, BJD, Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, JMM, Sikkim Democratic Front, and the Jana Sena Party.

Key Details of Electoral Bond Purchases

Prominent Buyers:

  • Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal bought bonds worth Rs 35 crore.
  • Vedanta Ltd purchased bonds worth Rs 398 crore.
  • Bharti Airtel’s three firms made substantial contributions with bonds worth Rs 246 crore.
  • Future Gaming and Hotel Services emerged as a significant buyer with bonds worth over Rs 1,350 crore.
  • Total Donors: There were a total of 213 donors who purchased electoral bonds worth over Rs 10 crore.

Individual Contributions:

  • Megha Engineering, involved in major infrastructure projects, bought bonds worth Rs 966 crore.
  • Political Party Beneficiaries:
  • Political donations through these bonds were primarily issued in the names of political parties or their leaders, notably to the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.
  • Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: Donated through electoral bonds.
  • Varun Gupta: Donated through electoral bonds.
  • B K Goenka: Donated through electoral bonds.
  • Jainendra Shah: Donated through electoral bonds.
  • Monika (First Name Only): Donated through electoral bonds.

Corporate Buyers:

  • Additional corporate purchasers included Spicejet, IndiGo, Grasim Industries, Megha Engineering, Piramal Enterprises, Torrent Power, Bharti Airtel, DLF Commercial Developers, Vedanta Ltd., Apollo Tyres, Edelweiss, PVR, Keventer, Sula Wines, Welspun, Sun Pharma, Vardhman Textiles, Jindal Group, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, CEAT tyres, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, ITC, Kaypee Enterprises, Cipla, and Ultratech Cement, reflecting a wide participation from various sectors.
  • Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital: Based in Ghaziabad, purchased 162 bonds, mostly of Rs 1 crore each.
  • Bajaj Auto: Bought bonds worth Rs 18 crore.
  • Bajaj Finance: Bought bonds worth Rs 20 crore.
  • IndiGo Firms: Three firms purchased bonds worth Rs 36 crore.
  • Spicejet: Purchased bonds worth Rs 65 lakh.
  • Rahul Bhatia of IndiGo: Bought bonds worth Rs 20 crore.
  • Qwik Supply Chain Pvt Ltd (Mumbai-based): Bought bonds worth Rs 410 crore.
  • Haldia Energy: Bought bonds worth Rs 377 crore.

The SBI disclosed that a total of 22,217 electoral bonds were bought between April 1, 2019, and February 15, 2024, with most being redeemed by political parties.READ MORE: EC releases data on electoral bonds: BJP biggest beneficiary; Vedanta, Airtel, Essel among top donors

Transparency and Accountability in Political Funding

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the SBI to share detailed information with the Election Commission to ensure transparency and accountability in political funding. In addition to the details of the purchasers, SBI has also provided the EC with information regarding the date of encashment of the electoral bonds and the names of the political parties that received the donations.

“In compliance of Supreme Court’s directions, contained in its order dated February 15 and March 11, 2024 (in the matter of WPC NO.880 of 2017), the State Bank of India (SBI) had provided the data pertaining to the electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 12, 2024,” the election commission said in a statement.

“The Election Commission of India has today uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI on as is where is basis,” it added.

More data regarding the same can be accessed using this url:

“It may be recalled that in the said matter, ECI has consistently and categorically weighed in favour of disclosure and transparency, a position reflected in the proceedings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and noted in the order also,” EC said.

According to an earlier report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore have been sold from March 2018 to January 2024.

The BJP received the highest contributions through the electoral bonds amounting to Rs 6,566 crore or 54.77 per cent, followed by the Congress with Rs 1,123 crore or 9.37 per cent, Trinamool Congress Rs 1,092 crore or 9.11 per cent, it had said.

This move is aimed at enhancing the transparency of political contributions and ensuring that the funds are traceable and accounted for.

(With inputs from TOI, PTI)

  • Published On Mar 15, 2024 at 12:20 PM IST

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