Saturday, April 20, 2024

Election Commission publishes electoral bond data, this time with bond numbers; Here is full data

The State Bank of India (SBI) has released all information related to the electoral bond scheme, including the unique numbers, to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday.

This follows the Supreme Court’s directive to the SBI to do so earlier this week.

Every electoral bond is assigned a unique number, linking the buyer of the bond to the party that redeemed it. The details of purchasers and participating parties were disclosed to the public on March 14 through two separate lists.

The new dataset includes the unique alphanumeric bond number for both the purchaser and redeemer, making it possible to link every electoral bond donor to its beneficiary for all donations made between April 12, 2019 and January 24, 2024.

Here’s the full data published by the ECI on its official website:

BJP’s top donors

The BJP received electoral bonds worth over Rs 8700 crore, more than all the other parties put together.

Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, headquartered in Hyderabad, emerged as the foremost donator to the BJP, purchasing bonds worth Rs 669 crore. This sum encompasses Rs 584 crore from Megha Engineering and Infrastructure, Rs 80 crore from its subsidiary Western UP Power, and Rs 5 crore from SEPC Power, another affiliated company.

The MKJ group, based in Kolkata, ranks as the second most significant donor to the BJP, providing Rs 393 crore. This includes Rs 189 crore to Madanlal Limited, Rs 149 crore to Keventer Foodpark Limited, and Rs 55 crore to MKJ Enterprises, all entities within the same conglomerate.

Companies linked to the Aditya Birla Group collectively donated Rs 272 crore to the BJP through electoral bonds.

Vedanta Limited, a prominent mining corporation, donated Rs 254 crore to the BJP, while telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel donated Rs 239 crore. This comprises Rs 210 crore from Bharti Airtel, Rs 27 crore from Bharti Telemedia, and Rs 2 crore from Bharti Infratel.

The Torrent Group, based in Gujarat, donated Rs 178 crore to the BJP, with Rs 108 crore from Torrent Power and Rs 70 crore from Torrent Pharma.

Entities associated with the Kolkata-based Sanjiv Goenka group donated Rs 124 crore, including Rs 99 crore from Haldia Energy and Rs 25 crore from Dhariwal Infrastructure. Future Gaming, the lottery company, which holds the top spot as the largest donor through electoral bonds in the nation, contributed Rs 100 crore to the BJP.

Lottery king’ largest purchaser of electoral bonds

Future Gaming, led by Santiago Martin, dubbed the ‘Lottery King’, acquired electoral bonds totaling Rs 1,368 crore from April 12, 2019, to January 24, 2024. Among the significant donors of electoral bonds, Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd, based in Coimbatore, witnessed a substantial portion of its bonds being utilized by two political parties. The Trinamool Congress emerged as the largest beneficiary, receiving Rs 542 crore, trailed by the DMK at Rs 503 crore.

Following them are the YSR Congress at Rs 154 crore and the Bharatiya Janata Party at Rs 100 crore.

Reliance-linked Qwik Supply gave Rs 385 crore to BJP

According to data released by the Election Commission on Thursday, Qwik Supply Chain Private Ltd, a relatively obscure company with its registered address located at Navi Mumbai’s Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC) and having connections to Reliance Industries, donated Rs 395 crore to the BJP. Additionally, it donated Rs 25 crore to the Shiv Sena.

Qwik Supply emerged as the third-largest contributor to political parties through electoral bonds, purchasing bonds worth Rs 410 crore between 2021-22 and 2023-24.

Interestingly, Qwik Supply, despite being an unlisted private entity, was established on November 9, 2000, with an authorized share capital of Rs 130.99 crore and a paid-up capital of Rs 129.99 crore. Although its revenue exceeded Rs 500 crore in the fiscal year 2022-23 (spanning from April 2022 to March 2023), specific profit figures were undisclosed. In 2021-22, the company acquired electoral bonds amounting to Rs 360 crore to distribute among political parties, while its net profit for that year stood at only Rs 21.72 crore. Furthermore, it obtained an additional Rs 50 crore worth of bonds in 2023-24.

Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited has three directors: Vipul Pranlal Mehta, Sridhar Titti, and Tapas Mitra, all of whom have links to Reliance. Tapas Mitra is a director in 26 other companies, including partnership firms such as Reliance Eros Productions LLP. In his Linkedin profile, Mitra identifies himself as the Head of Accounts (Consolidation) at Reliance Industries Limited.

Another director, Vipul Pranlal Mehta, is also a director in a privately held company called Rel Icons and Traders Private Limited. The third director in the company, Mahesh Mungekar, is also a director in other Reliance group companies, namely Reliance Telecom Limited and Reliance Communications Infrastructure Limited.

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