Congress alleges 60 per cent electoral bonds went to BJP, demands court-appointed Special Investigation Team


The Congress on Friday alleged that 60 per cent of the electoral bonds had gone to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and demanded a Special Investigation Team to probe the matter a day after the Election Commission published the electoral bonds data shared by the State Bank of India on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Speaking to the media during the Maharashtra leg of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, Jairam Ramesh said, “I have analyzed it (electoral bonds)… shows how the electoral bonds were misused. Sixty per cent of the electoral bonds went to the BJP. I have shown through the analysis how the ED, CBI and Income Tax have also been misused…”

He alleged that those who have donated were awarded contracts and other projects. “It is a joint conspiracy,” the Congress MP said.

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal of the Congress said on Friday that the court should constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Sibal asserted that the issue of electoral bonds would not be investigated by any probe agencies.

READ: Indian political parties received $1.5 bn since 2019; BJP biggest earner, lottery firm top donor with $164 million

He said, “ED and CBI are sleeping right now. If this thing happens against the Opposition they would have taken action. They have taken an overdose of sleeping pills. You must remember because I don’t, that someone (referring to PM Modi) said ‘Na khaoonga na khane dunga’ (“I will not be corrupt nor will I allow others to be”). What happened to that?”

He also alleged that PM Modi had said that he would bring black money from the Swiss banks and transfer ₹15 lakh ($18,000) each to people’s accounts, but “it seems like they have transferred that money to their accounts.”

Sibal said, “In my opinion, this will not be investigated by any probe agencies. Now the responsibility is on the Court to determine what will they do and what action they will take.”

He said the two major scams to have taken place in the country are demonetization and electoral bonds.

READ: India’s Supreme Court dismisses State Bank plea to extend electoral bonds deadline

“Like the court had done in the 2G spectrum allocation case, where an SIT was made, in this case also an SIT should be constituted to probe the matter. We have to see how the law will see it now… It should also be found out who donated to the PM-CARES… which party got how much funding.” He asserted that there are a lot of gaps in the investigation. “Who donated to the PM-CARES fund should also be investigated. That’s too a big issue.”

On Thursday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI with Future Gaming and Hotel Services and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd among the top donors to political parties.

Future Gaming and Hotel Services, whose director is the lottery magnate Santiago Martin, is the top purchaser of electoral bonds having purchased bonds worth ₹1,368 crore ($164.8 million), according to data uploaded by the Election Commission of India on its website on Thursday.

Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited donated ₹966 crore ($116 million). As per the company website Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) is a major infrastructure company headquartered in Hyderabad, India. The company was established in 1989.

Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited donated ₹409 crore ($49 million), Haldia Energy Limited donated ₹377 crore ($45.8 million), Vedanta Limited ₹375.65 crore ($45.2 million) and Bharti Airtel Limited ₹198 crore ($23 million).

Most prominent parties have been beneficiaries of the scheme. They include the Bharatiya Janata Party, INC, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Shiv Sena, YSR Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Jana Sena Party.

According to SBI and ECI data, other donors include Finolex Cables Ltd, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Edelweiss Housing Finance Ltd, GHCL Ltd, Jindal Poly Films Limited, ITC Limited and Vedanta Limited, Grasim Industries Limited PR, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Limited, Piramal Enterprises Ltd, Muthoot Finance Limited, Pegasus Properties Private Limited, Bajaj Finance Ltd, Bharti Airtel Limited, Apollo Tyres Limited and SpiceJet Limited, JK Cement Ltd, DLF Commercial Developers Limited, Avon Cycles Ltd, Zydus Healthcare Limited, Cipla Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Mankind Pharma Limited, Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, Haldia Energy Limited, Essel Mining and Industry Limited, Western UP Power Transmission Company Limited. Keventer Food Parks Limited, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, BG Shirke Construction Technology Pvt Ltd, Rungta Sons Pvt Ltd and Torrent Power Limited.

The poll panel issued a press note providing the link on which the data provided by the SBI can be accessed.

SBI said that the data has been furnished in respect of bonds purchased and redeemed between April 12, 2019 to February 15, 2024.

A total of 22,217 bonds were purchased during the period April 1, 2019, till February 15, 2024, SBI told the Supreme Court.

An electoral bond was an instrument in the nature of a promissory note or bearer bond which can be purchased by any individual, company, firm or association of persons provided the person or body is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. The bonds were issued specifically for the purpose of contribution of funds to political parties.

These bonds were issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of ₹1,000 ($12), ₹10,000 ($120), ₹100,000 ($1200), ₹1,000,000 ($12,000) and ₹100,00,000 ($120,525) from the specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).

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