EC makes fresh electoral bonds data public; BJP received ₹6,986.5 crore, Future Gaming top donor for DMK

West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress received ₹1,397 crore, Congress ₹1,334 crore, BRS ₹1,322 crore and BJD ₹944.5 crore 

March 17, 2024 03:23 pm | Updated March 22, 2024 09:46 pm IST - New Delhi

The Election Commission made fresh data public on electoral bonds on Sunday which it had earlier submitted in sealed covers to the Supreme Court. Photo of Election Commission building.

The Election Commission made fresh data public on electoral bonds on Sunday which it had earlier submitted in sealed covers to the Supreme Court. Photo of Election Commission building. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday made public fresh data on electoral bonds, which it had submitted in sealed covers to the Supreme Court and was later asked to put it in public domain.

These details are believed to be pertaining to the period before April 12, 2019. Electoral bond details after this date was made public by the poll panel last week.

Editorial | Names and bonds: On electoral bonds scheme, the Supreme Court, and the State Bank of India

Political parties had filed data on Electoral Bonds in sealed cover as directed by the Supreme Court's interim order dated April 12, 2019, the poll panel said in a statement.

"Data so received from political parties was deposited in the Supreme Court without opening sealed covers. In pursuance of the Supreme Court's order dated March 15, 2024, the Registry of the Supreme Court has returned physical copies along with a digitized record of the same in a pen drive in sealed cover. The Election Commission of India has today uploaded the data received in the digitized form from the registry of the Supreme Court on electoral bonds on its website," ECI said.

BJP, TMC among top beneficiaries of electoral bonds

The BJP received the maximum funds through these bonds at ₹6,986.5 crore since they were introduced in 2018. West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress (₹1,397 crore), Congress (₹1,334 crore) and BRS (₹1,322 crore). The BJD was the fourth largest recipient at ₹944.5 crore, followed by DMK at ₹656.5 crore and Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress redeemed bonds worth nearly ₹442.8 crore. The JD(S) received bonds worth ₹89.75 crore, including ₹50 crore from Megha Engineering, the second largest purchaser of electoral bonds.

Future Gaming and Hotel Services, the top purchaser of electoral bonds, donated ₹509 crore to DMK through the scheme, the data showed. Future Gaming of lottery king Santiago Martin was the biggest purchaser of electoral bonds at ₹1,368 crore, of which nearly 37 per cent went to the DMK. Other major donors of the DMK included Megha Engineering ₹105 crore, India Cements ₹14 crore and Sun TV ₹100 crore.

The TDP redeemed bonds worth ₹181.35 crore, Shiv Sena ₹60.4 crore, RJD ₹56 crore, Samajwadi Party got ₹14.05 crore via electoral bonds, Akali Dal ₹7.26 crore, AIADMK ₹6.05 crore, National Conference ₹50 lakh. The CPI(M) and BSP declared that they did not receive funds through electoral bonds.

The DMK was among the few political parties to disclose the identity of the donors, while major parties such as the BJP, Congress, TMC and AAP did not disclose these details to the Election Commission, which has now made public those filing as per a Supreme Court order.

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