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DMK tries to justify ₹509 crore received from Future Gaming in Electoral Bonds, offers ‘logic’ originally offered by The News Minute editor, here is why that doesn’t cut the ice

Contrary to DMK's claims, state governments also enjoy executive powers including drafting laws and they also control agencies like CID, Police, ATS, Crime Branch, Vigilance Department, etc.

Hours after fresh data published by the Election Commission revealed that DMK received Electoral Bonds worth Rs 509 crore from Santiago Martin’s Future Gaming, the party responded quickly to claim innocence. 

In a bid to justify the donation that created a political furore and basis for speculative allegations by the opposition against the BJP, DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai argued that the ruling political party in Tamil Nadu doesn’t control probing agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), or the Income Tax Department. 

On Sunday (17th March), quoting a PTI tweet regarding the Rs 509 crore donation to DMK from Future Gaming, the DMK’s official Spokesperson, and Joint Secretary – Media Wing, Saravanan Annadurai wrote, “DMK does not control ED, CBI or Income Tax depts. They are under the control of BJP. DMK does not run extortion rackets.”

Pertinent to note that before the disclosure of Future Gaming’s funding to DMK, the opposition and its ecosystem had speculatively alleged that the donations from firms like Future Gaming were received through coercion by probing agencies. They selectively accused the BJP of using government machinery to solicit these donations.  

The opposition parties and its ecosystem have been alleging that the Electoral Bond scheme was a scam, “extortion”. According to their “calibrated” claims, selective donations including the one from firms like Future Gaming were part of a “quid pro quo”. According to their conspiracy theory, the BJP extorted money from scam-tainted firms to provide legal security or frame favourable laws. 

However, the theory provided a safety valve in case of failure. That is, if the same firms had funded opposition parties, it would not implicate opposition parties. They argue that the opposition parties, even in states where they are in power, don’t control ‘agencies’ to coerce or lure firms. 

But all this does not explain why scam-tainted company Future Gaming made such large donations to DMK. If the company could not be coerced by DMK, as per the party’s own claim, it could mean that the company is closely associated with the party.

Conspicuously, the same logic was predominantly peddled by ‘The News Minute’ Editor Dhanya Rajendran on 16th March. Taking to X, she argued, “No one said other parties aren’t making money out of bonds. If there are quid pro quo, everyone should be and will be questioned. But those parties didn’t control law enforcement agencies.” 

According to her own admission, a party allegedly solicited funds from these firms through coercion or allurement, and the same was done either in lieu of ‘drafting favourable policies’ or “helping” them in their legal matters. 

In a tweet that selectively targeted the BJP, she explained, “Party against corruption aka BJP comes to power. Makes changes in many laws, allows companies to donate as much as they want, removes caps, allows Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies to donate. Also increases action by ED, IT etc. Who benefits the most? BJP.” 

The post drew massive criticism as several users, some sarcastically, pointed out how states also enjoy the same capabilities. While states do not have control on ED and CBI, they do have state police and other anti-corruption mechanisms, which they regularly use.

Contrary to the claims, state governments also enjoy executive powers including drafting laws and they also control agencies like CID, Police, ATS, Crime Branch, Vigilance Department, etc. As per the theory peddled by the opposition and its ecosystem, the state government including opposition-ruled ones also has the apparatus for both coercion and the ability to amend or draft laws as part of quid pro quo. 

OpIndia had earlier highlighted the political links of Future Gaming’s Santiago Martin, the largest buyer of electoral bonds with opposition parties including CPIM, DMK, Congress, and TMC. 

As per the speculative theory peddled by the opposition and its cabal, it raises questions about why lottery king Future Gaming donated to the ruling party in Tamil Nadu where lottery is banned. Luck-based lotteries and contests are banned in the state as per the Tamil Nadu Prize Schemes (Prohibition) Act, 1979. In 2022, the Tamil Nadu govt further banned online gambling. This means, Future Gaming has no business presence in the state.

Therefore, it raises the question of whether the company funnelled large sums of money to DMK in an attempt to change the state’s policy to allow it to open lottery business in Tamil Nadu.

Interestingly, while the EC disclosure has revealed Future Gaming’s Santiago Martin’s Rs 509 crore donations to DMK, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin had earlier filed a defamation suit against a publication ‘Vikatan’ for alleging link to ‘Lottery King’ Martin. However, now that link has been proven.

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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