Election Commission releases data on electoral bonds

He Electoral Commission released on thursday data about him electoral bondsfollowing a Supreme Court order that directed the State Bank of India deliver all data related to the bonds to the electoral authority.

"In pursuance of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court 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 relating to the electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 12, 2024", the survey body said in a Press release.

Late on Thursday, the Electoral Commission uploaded all the data to its website, in two parts, with a total of 763 pages of information.

"The Election Commission of India has today uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI on an 'as is' basis. The data received from SBI can be accessed at this URL: https:// www.eci .gov.in/candidate-politicalparty,” the statement said.

Of the bonds, the Bharatiya Janata Party received 8,633 bonds worth Rs 6,566 crore, the largest amount of money, while the Congress received 3,146 bonds, worth Rs 1,123 crore. The saffron party got 54.77% of the electoral bond funds, followed by the Congress with 9.37% and the Trinamool Congress with 9.11% or ₹1,092 crore.

Electoral bond donors include companies like Apollo Tyres, Lakshmi Mittal, Edelweiss, PVR, Keventer, Sula Wine, Welspun and Sun Pharma. Torrent Power, Bharti Airtel, DLF Commercial Developers and Vedanta also feature prominently. Future Gaming, which was investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in March 2022, purchased electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,350 crore under two different sets of company names. Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Ltd bought bonds worth Rs 398 crore, while Sunil Mittal's three companies together bought a total of Rs 246 crore worth of bonds. Steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal bought bonds worth Rs 35 crore individually. Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering, which has bagged contracts for several large infrastructure projects, bought bonds worth Rs 966 crore.

While most of the bonds have been issued in the names of political parties, the donations made to the Congress and Samajwadi Party were made in the name of "Chairman, All India Congress Committee" and "Adyaksha Samajvadi Party".

The top 10 companies that bought the bonds are:

  1. Future gaming and hotel services: Rs 1,368 crore
  2. Megha Engineering and Infrastructure: Rs 966 crore
  3. Qwik supply chain: Rs 410 crore
  4. Vedanta: 400 crores
  5. Haldia Energy: Rs 377 crore
  6. Bharti Group: Rs 247 crore
  7. Essel Mining and industries: Rs 224 crore
  8. Western UP Power Transmission Company: ₹220 crore
  9. Keventer Foodpark Infrastructure: Rs 195 crore
  10. Madanlal: 185 crores

A complete list of all political parties that received donations through electoral bonds:

  • Aam Aadmi Party
  • Adyaksha Samajwadi Party
  • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • All India Trinamool Congress
  • Bharat Rashtra Samithi
  • Janata Party Recruitment
  • Bihar Pradesh Janta Dal (United States)
  • They are Janata Dal.
  • DMK
  • Jammu and Kashmir National Conference
  • Janata Dal (Secular)
  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
  • Nationalist Congress Party
  • All India Congress Committee
  • Rashtriya Janata Dal
  • Shiromani Akali Dal
  • Shivsena
  • Telugu Desam Party
  • YSR Congress Party

Following a directive from the Supreme Court, the State Bank of India, which was the authorized seller of electoral bonds, had shared the data with the electoral panel on March 12. In a landmark verdict delivered on February 15, a five-judge constitutional bench had scrapped the Centre's electoral bond scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, calling it "unconstitutional" and ordered the EC to disclose the donors, the amount donated by them and the recipients.

The top court had given the Election Commission until 5 pm on March 15 to upload the data on its website. Electoral bond data can be accessed here

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