Electoral Bonds Data

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has released detailed data on electoral bonds, following a directive from the Supreme Court. The information, sourced from the State Bank of India (SBI), sheds light on the major purchasers of electoral bonds and the political parties that have benefited from this controversial funding mechanism.

The ECI uploaded two separate lists on its website – one containing the names of donors who purchased the bonds along with the dates and denominations of each transaction, and the other showing the political parties that encashed the bonds. The data pertains to the period between April 1, 2019 and February 15, 2024, during which a total of 22,217 electoral bonds were purchased.

Future Gaming, Megha Engineering Top Donor List

Among the major corporate donors revealed in the data, two companies stand out for their substantial contributions through electoral bonds. Future Gaming and Hotel Services Private Limited, a little-known entity that is currently under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), emerged as the top purchaser of electoral bonds, with total purchases of Rs. 1,368 crore.

The second-largest donor was Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, a Hyderabad-based company that has bagged several major government contracts in recent years. Megha Engineering bought electoral bonds worth Rs. 966 crore during the period covered by the data.

Other Prominent Donors

Other prominent corporate contributors include Vedanta Limited (Rs. 400 crore), the Bharti Group (Rs. 247 crore), Essel Mining and Industries Limited (Rs. 224 crore), and DLF Group (Rs. 170 crore). The data also shows significant purchases by Haldia Energy (Rs. 377 crore), Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited (Rs. 410 crore), and Keventer Foodpark Infra Limited (Rs. 194 crore).

Apart from corporate entities, the electoral bonds data also reveals substantial contributions by prominent industrialists and business leaders in their individual capacities. Steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal purchased bonds worth Rs. 35 crore, while Sunil Bharti Mittal’s three companies together bought bonds amounting to Rs. 246 crore.

BJP Biggest Beneficiary, Opposition Parties Allege Bias

On the beneficiary side, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single-largest recipient of donations through electoral bonds. According to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the BJP received Rs. 6,566 crore or 54.77% of the total electoral bonds encashed between March 2018 and January 2024.

The Indian National Congress was a distant second, with Rs. 1,123 crore (9.37%), followed by the Trinamool Congress with Rs. 1,092 crore (9.11%). Other major national and regional parties that received significant contributions through electoral bonds include the Shiv Sena, AIADMK, TDP, YSR Congress, DMK, JD(S), NCP, BJD, Samajwadi Party, and AAP.



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