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Electoral Bonds: Before 2019 Polls, BJP Got Rs 1,700 Cr, 5 Times More Than Rest

In the run-up to Lok Sabha polls 2019, BJP received Rs 1,700 Cr in electoral bonds, almost 84% of all the bonds.

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The electoral bonds data released by the Election Commission of India suggests that in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party encashed electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,700 crore. This is the highest amongst the electoral bonds encashed by any political parties, and about one-third of the total electoral bonds encashed by the BJP so far.

As per the data analysed by The Quint, the saffron party encashed total electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,771.57 crore between 12 April 2019 and 22 May 2019. The Lok Sabha elections were held in May 2019.

The data — released by the ECI on 14 March after a Supreme Court order — is from 12 April 2019 to 15 February 2024.

Interestingly, of the total Rs 1,771 crore, the party encashed Rs 1,662 crore in 1,662 electoral bonds worth Rs 1 crore each. This means that almost 93.8% of the total encashed amount was in bonds of Rs 1 crore each.

As for the number of bonds, the saffron party had encashed a total 3,089 bonds of different denominations; with nearly half of the total encashed bonds in denomination of Rs 1 crore each.

Similarly, in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the party encashed over Rs 202 crore in January alone.

Till date, the BJP has so far encashed electoral bonds worth Rs 6,000 crore, almost half of the total bonds encashed by any party.

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BJP Got 84% Bonds, What About the Other Parties?

In the run-up to Lok Sabha polls 2019, BJP received Rs 1,700 Cr in electoral bonds, almost 84% of all the bonds.

Of the total Rs 2,107.78 crore electoral bonds encashed by the political parties before the 2019 LS polls, 84% bonds were encashed by the BJP.

(Graphic: The Quint/Namita Chauhan)

Of the total Rs 2,107.78 crore electoral bonds encashed by the political parties before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, bonds worth Rs 1,771.57 crore, or almost 84% of the total bonds, were encashed by the BJP.

Lagging way behind at the second highest encasher was the Congress party, which encashed electoral bonds worth Rs 168.56 crore.

The Congress' figure was almost thrice that of the Trinamool Congress, which encashed bonds worth over Rs 51.71 crore. West Bengal's TMC also had the highest share amongst all the regional parties which encashed electoral bonds before the 2019 elections.

Surprisingly, by 2024, the amount of bonds encashed by the TMC crossed that of the Congress, as The Quint has covered in our piece here.

Other regional parties like the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana, the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, the DMK in Kerala, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, also encashed bonds in the said time, at Rs 37.15 crore, Rs 15.38 crore, Rs 10.84 crore, Rs 9 crore, and Rs 6.76 crore, respectively.

At bonds worth Rs 2.20 crore, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stayed at 16th position amongst the total 18 parties which encashed electoral bonds during the same time.

Who Donated the Most Before 2019 LS Polls?

In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, multiple donors bought electoral bonds worth Rs 1488.8 crore.

As per the data, between 12 April 2019 and 22 May 2019, bonds worth Rs 2,107.78 crore were encashed by various political parties, and bonds worth Rs 1,488.8 crore was purchased by various donors. The data, released by ECI after the Supreme Court order, is only from 12 April 2019 to 15 February 2024. Hence, as of yet, there are no details of the bonds which might have been purchased by donors before 12 April 2019, but encashed by political parties after this date.

While the first entry of both bonds purchased and encashed, in the given data, is on 12 April 2019; the last date any bonds were purchased by any donors in this time period was 10 May 2019.

However, the last date the bonds were encashed by any parties in the said time period was 22 May 2019.

Most of the electoral bonds on 22 May were encashed by the Trinamool Congress — 10 bonds of Rs 10 lakh each, amounting to Rs 1 crore. This was just one day before the 2019 Lok Sabha election results were announced, on 23 May 2019.

Meanwhile, 2,522 bonds were purchased in this period by different donors.

Of the total bonds worth Rs 1488.8 crore purchased before the 2019 elections, Keventer Foodpark Infra Limited (now known as Magnificent Foodpark Projects Limited) had purchased the maximum bonds worth Rs 195 crore.

Closely following Keventer, Madan Lal Limited had purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 185.5 crore.

Both the top donors, Keventer and Madan Lal Ltd, are linked to Radheshyam Khetan, who is listed as the director of both the companies with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Together, they purchased bonds worth over Rs 380.5 crore in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
In the run-up to Lok Sabha polls 2019, BJP received Rs 1,700 Cr in electoral bonds, almost 84% of all the bonds.

Table shows Top 10 firms which purchased electoral bonds before 2019 LS Polls.

(Graphic: The Quint/Namita Chauhan)

At the third position was Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), which had bought bonds worth Rs 125 crore before the 2019 elections.

The MEIL has been awarded multiple government projects, and was also praised by Union Roadways Minister Nitin Gadkari in the Parliament in 2022, as The Quint has covered here.

Amongst other top donors, to different parties, before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were Essel Mining and Industries Limited, Vedanta Limited, PHL Finvest Pvt Ltd, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Navayuga Engineering Company Limited, Bajaj Finance Ltd, and Finolex Cables Ltd.

Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd — which had purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 30 crore on 18 April 2019, just a month before the 2019 elections — is the firm which was building the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi, which had collapsed in 2023, trapping 41 workers.

Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd purchased total electoral bonds worth Rs 45 crore in 2019 and 2022, as The Quint has covered here.

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