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62 per cent of donations by companies after ED raids went to opposition parties: Electoral bonds data debunks opposition’s ‘extortion’ claims

Contrary to the narrative presented by the opposition parties, the analysis revealed a diverse distribution of electoral bond donations across party lines. BJP received a 37.34 per cent share of these donations, while the remaining 62.66 per cent of those donations went to other parties, including the Trinamool Congress, DMK, BJD and Congress.

The Electoral Bonds have brought countless twists and turns in India’s political landscape. There have been allegations by the opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that they used raids by central investigation agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED), to “extort” funding from corporate houses. However, an analysis conducted by The Indian Express uncovered how the allegations contradict the reality. The opposition has persistently accused the BJP of receiving funds from companies under investigation by the ED. However, the detailed examination of the data suggested a different direction.

The analysis revolved around 26 companies that purchased the electoral bonds and faced raids by ED, the Income Tax Department and others. Of these companies, 16 made electoral bond donations only after coming under the radar of the investigation agencies. Furthermore, contributions from six companies spiked following probes were initiated against them.

Contrary to the narrative presented by the opposition parties, the analysis revealed a diverse distribution of electoral bond donations across party lines. BJP received a 37.34 per cent share of these donations, but the fact cannot be ignored that a significant part, that is 62.66 per cent, of those donations, went to other parties, including the regional parties such as Trinamool Congress, DMK, BJD and Congress.

Furthermore, the data indicated that the share of the BJP in electoral bond donations from the companies under investigation was in line with the overall share. The remaining contributions were received by the opposition parties, which suggested that a broad-based distribution of the funds took place rather than the targeted quid pro quo arrangement that the opposition parties have been claiming.

Let’s take the example of Future Gaming, which faced the ED probe. They started buying electoral bonds only after facing scrutiny. The majority of the shares of the bonds purchased by Future Gaming went to Trinamool Congress, followed by DMK and others. BJP received only Rs 100 crore from the company in electoral bond donations. Similarly, Haldia Energy bought bonds post-investigation. They donated the bonds to both TMC and BJP.

A closer examination of the top donor companies revealed similar patterns. Though these companies increased their donations after coming under the radar of the security agencies, their contributions were not exclusive towards the BJP.

Quoting the data analysis by Indian Express, Amit Malviya, BJP’s IT Cell chief, took on X to answer the opposition parties’ allegations. He wrote, “Data is as good as how you read it. Is there merit in the Opposition’s allegations that the BJP was extorting money using agencies? The answer is NO.

  • Here is the data which establishes that the charges are hollow:
  • ED did 3,000 raids between 2014-22
  • In 3,000 raids, only 26 companies that faced agency action bought electoral bonds
  • Only 16 out of these 26 companies bought electoral bonds “soon after” agency action
  • BJP got just 37% of the money from companies that faced agency action!
  • The overall share of the BJP in electoral bonds is 47%
  • So BJP got less money from companies that were raided than from those that were not raided
  • Companies that were raided gave 63% of their money to the opposition and 37% to the BJP!

This doesn’t look like “extortion”. But this does raise several questions on Opposition…”

OpIndia’s analysis of the Electoral Bonds data

Using data revealed by ECI, it is clear that in the case of Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd owned by Lottery King Santiago Martin, TMC received 542 crores, DMK received 503 crores, and BJP received only 100 crores from the company. The company had bought bonds worth Rs 1,368 crores. the probe against the company was initiated in July 2019. They bought the bonds for the first time in October 2019.

Electoral Bonds data of Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd

In the case of Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, the company bought bonds worth Rs 1,107 crores. The probe against the company was initiated in October 2019 by the IT Department. BJP was the biggest beneficiary followed by BRS, DMK, YSRCP, TDP, Congress and others.

Electoral Bonds data of Megha Engineering

In the case of Haldia Energy, they bought 22 crores worth of bonds before action and 355 crores after action. Interestingly, before the CBI action in 2020, BJP got 16 crores worth of bonds, and TMC got 6 crores. After the action, TMC got bonds worth Rs 275 crores, and BJP got bonds worth 65 crores.

Electoral Bonds data of Haldia Energy
Source: ECI

In the case of Jindal Steels, which faced action in April 2022, the company bought bonds worth Rs 123 crores after the action. BJP got bonds worth Rs 100 crores, Congress got Rs 20 crores, and BJP got only Rs 3 crores worth of bonds. After April 2022, other companies of Jindal Group donated bonds worth Rs 72.5 crores to BJP but could not match the total donations to BJD.

In the case of Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals, BRS was the top receiver; for Chennai Green Woods, BRS was the top receiver; for Rashmi Group; BJD and TMC were the receivers; for Hetero Pharma, BRS was the top receiver; for Aurobindo Pharma, BRS was the top receiver, for Rithwik Projects, Congress was the top receiver, for Shirdi Sai Electricals, TDP was the top receiver, and so on. In the case of Hero Motocorp, United Phosphorus, Ramco Cement, Welspun, Divis Labs, and NCC, BJP was the top receiver. The data makes it clear that in distribution of electoral bonds from the companies faced action by central agencies was not limited to BJP but to all political parties.

Electoral Bonds data was released by the Election Commission of India and the State Bank of India after the Supreme Court struck down the scheme and directed SBI to provide data to ECI, which would publish it on the website.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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