Gujarat Cos Bought Poll Bonds Worth 561cr | Ahmedabad News – Times of India

Ahmedabad: the second tranche of data on electoral bonds published by the Election Commission of India (ECI) sheds light on the buyers of these bonds and the main political parties benefiting from them. A comprehensive data analysis by TOI reveals that 55 companies in Gujarat collectively purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 561 crore, which were then donated to 12 different political parties across India.
He BJP, the party in power in Gujarat for almost three decades, emerged as the biggest beneficiary, receiving Rs 459.5 crore, or about 82%, of the total electoral bond purchases made by Gujarat companies. The remaining 18% was distributed among 11 parties including Indian National Congress (INC), Shiv Sena, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) , Samajwadi Party (SP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF).

After the BJP, the INC emerged as the second-largest beneficiary, receiving Rs 49.9 crore. Political analysts suggest that the INC recipient has less donations due to the decline in its share of seats in the state. “Several companies here have a presence in different states. In line with their business interests, the companies bought electoral bonds from political parties in those states,” said an analyst.
A large chunk (87.4%) of the purchases, totaling Rs 461.47 crore, were made by companies in five key sectors: infrastructure and real estate (Rs 165.25 crore), pharmaceuticals (Rs 148 .2 million), power and electricity (Rs. 111.5 million), textiles (Rs. 36,519 million) and pipe manufacturing (Rs. 29.5 million). Notable contributors include Torrent Group, Welspun Group, Safal Goyal Realty LLP, LCC Projects Private Limited, Zydus Healthcare Limited and Intas Pharmaceuticals.
The Torrent Group, comprising Torrent Power and Torrent Pharma, led the way with a substantial purchase of Rs 184 crore in bonds. It was closely followed by Welspun Group, which encompasses Welspun Corp, Welspun Enterprises, Welspun India and Welspun Living, and contributed approximately Rs 55 crore. Additionally, Safal Goyal Realty LLP purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 35 million, while LCC Projects Private Limited followed suit with a contribution of Rs 31.5 million. Zydus Healthcare Limited and Intas Pharmaceuticals contributed significantly, with Rs 29 crore and Rs 20 crore, respectively.
Interestingly, two major parties in Sikkim, SKM and SDF, received Rs 15.5 million through electoral bonds from Gujarat Companies. Analysts attributed this to the presence of pharmaceutical companies from Gujarat in Sikkim. The total donations surpassed the amount of Rs 8.3 crore received by AAP, which also has a presence in Gujarat. Similarly, TMC received Rs 1.5 crore through bond purchases by companies in Gujarat.
In November 2022, ahead of the state assembly elections, several players in the textile industry in Gujarat bought electoral bonds in large quantities. This included textile conglomerates like Arvind Limited and several cotton spinning mills in Saurashtra, indicating the industry's active involvement in political financing.
(With contributions from
Himanshu Kaushik)

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