Electoral Bonds: Who Was Congress' Top Donor? It's Same as the BJP, Here's How

MKJ Enterprises is at the second position, they donated Rs 121 crores to Congress.

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Video Producer: Jaspreet Singh

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Until now, we were able to draw correlation as to the top purchasers of electoral bonds and which parties they benefited the most. But with the State Bank of India (SBI) submitting all the remaining electoral bond details, including the alphanumeric numbers, to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday, we can now see definite links.

The Quint has found out that between April 2019 and February 2024, the biggest Opposition political party, Congress received a total of Rs 1,421 crores worth donations through the electoral bonds.

This is in contrast to the ruling party, BJP's share of electoral bonds worth Rs 6,060 crore redeemed by them between April 2019 and January 2024, the period for which data is available.

Among the corporations and businesses, the top donors to Congress are:

  • MEIL Group: Rs 158 crores.

  • MKJ Enterprises: Rs 121 crores. This corporation also includes Keventer Foodpark Limited which donated Rs 20 crore and Madanlal Limited which donated Rs 10 crores.

  • Vedanta Limited at Rs 104 crores.

  • Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital at Rs 64 crores.

  • Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR at Rs 50 crores.

Interestingly, the biggest donor to the Congress is the same as the biggest donor to the BJP: Hyderabad based — MEGHA Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL).

Western UP Power Limited — which is a subsidiary of MEIL — gave Rs 110 crore to Congress, another related company SEPC Power gave Rs 18 crore and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited gave Rs 18 crore.

The BJP got Rs 696 crore from the group. However, the bulk of it came from Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited and lesser amounts from Western UP Power Limited.

Among other noted names, Haldia Energy Limited donated Rs 15 crores, Jindal Steel and Power Limited donated Rs 20 crores, Torrent Group gave Rs 22 crore.

Incidentally, MEIL, MKJ Group, Vedanta, Torrent and Future Gaming feature among the top donors to BJP when it comes to electoral bonds.

Some of the other corporations which have donated considerable amounts to the Congress are:

Camelia Griha Nirman Pvt Ltd (Rs 55 crore), Cygnus Power Infra Services Pvt Ltd (Rs 55 crore), Avees Trading Finance Pvt Ltd (Rs 53 crore) and Dasami Lab Pvt Ltd (Rs 50 crore).

Chairperson and founder of Biocon and noted entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw also donated Rs 1 crore to Congress, besides donations to the BJP as well.

These figures were possible because of the alphanumeric numbers that were made public by the ECI on Thursday. Notably, The Quint's Poonam Agarwal had reported back in 2018 about the existence of these numbers, even though the government and SBI stated that they were just a "security feature."

There's also a pattern that Congress’s fortunes have been more closely linked to elections.

In April 2023, just before the Karnataka elections, the BJP, the state’s incumbent party, redeemed Rs 334.2 crore, the Congress got Rs 190.6 crores.

Meanwhile, the Congress had received Rs 622 crore through poll bonds in 2019, nearly 85% of which had come in the months of March and April when the preparation for Lok Sabha elections was at its peak.

(With inputs from Abhilash Mallick)

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Topics:  BJP   Congress   Rahul Gandhi 

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