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Electoral Bonds Exclusive: 7 Firms Were Among BJP's Top Donors Over Last 5 Years

Documents provided by BJP in a sealed cover give clues on firms that gave crores to BJP through electoral bonds.

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In the first part of its investigation into political donations via electoral bonds, The Quint, on 18 March, published a list of companies which were the BJP's top donors through electoral bonds during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In this second part, we will reveal the names of companies and industrial houses which gave the maximum funds to the BJP via electoral bonds from July 2019 to July 2023.

The BJP is the biggest recipient of funds through electoral bonds - it received Rs 8,700 crore, more than all the other parties put together. However, the party hasn't declared which companies bought and donated these bonds to them. The Congress and Trinamool Congress -- the second and third highest beneficiaries -- have also not made this information public.

According to the BJP, they have not maintained this information and they are not required to do so.

However, the documents shared by the BJP in a sealed envelope to the Election Commission of India, provided us important clues that helped us zero in on the companies which donated large sums of money to the party via electoral bonds.

We have done this by focusing on large transactions done on a single day because they can be accurately verified based on the bond-purchasers list.

We are beginning from July 2019 because we have covered the April-2019 period in the previous part of the investigation. The data of bond purchasers before April 2019 hasn't been made public and after May 2019, the next purchase in July. We ended at July 2023 because that is the last entry in the database disclosed by the BJP.

The following are the biggest single-day donations to the BJP via electoral bonds and the companies behind them.

Documents provided by BJP in a sealed cover give clues on firms that gave crores to BJP through electoral bonds.

Some of the biggest single-day donations to BJP.

(Aroop Mishra/ The Quint) 

Electoral Bonds Exclusive: 7 Firms Were Among BJP's Top Donors Over Last 5 Years

  1. 1. QWIK Supply Chain Private Limited

    According to the list of Electoral Bond donations given by the BJP, on 5 January, 2022 the party received a donation of Rs 200 crore through 200 bonds of Rs 1 crore each purchased in Mumbai.

    This was the biggest single-day donation to any party by a single entity in the six years electoral bonds were operational.

    When we checked the database of bond-purchasers uploaded on the Election Commission website, we found that only one firm had purchased bonds in excess of Rs 200 crore on a single day. This was Mumbai-based Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, which bought 225 bounds worth Rs 1 crore each on 5 January 2022.

    With the date being identical as the date of bond given in the BJP list, it is clear that this donation was indeed from Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, a Reliance-linked firm.

    We don't have enough data to suggest where the remaining 25 bonds went. This will be clear only when the alphanumeric unique IDs of the electoral bonds is made public.

    The second time the firm bought electoral bonds of a significant value was 11 November 2022, worth Rs 125 crore. Incidentally, BJP’s records also show a bond bought on the same day of the exact same amount, from a Mumbai firm. On that date, no other company bought electoral bonds worth Rs 125 crore.

    Therefore, in all probability, this donation was also to the BJP.

    Qwik Supply is the third largest donor to political parties via electoral bonds. The firm may have given more donations to the BJP via Electoral Bonds but that will be clear only after the alphanumeric codes are released. These two big transactions we can say for sure, went to the BJP.

    The longest-serving director of Qwik Supply is Tapas Mitra who was appointed on November 17, 2014 and has directorships in 25 other companies, including Reliance Eros Productions LLP, Reliance Tankages Private Limited, Reliance Group Support Service Private Limited, Reliance Fire Brigade Service Private Limited, Jamnagar Kandla Pipeline Company and several others. Some of these firms further share addresses with other Reliance firms-- Reliance Paging Private Limited, Jamnagar Ratlam Pipeline Private Limited, Reliance Tankages Private Limited and Reliance Oil and Petroleum Private Limited.

    The Qwik Supply Chain’s registered address is at Navi Mumbai’s Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC).

    The Quint reached out to Qwik Supply Chain via email. The report will be updated if and when there is a response. Last week, in response to news agency PTI, Reliance had said: "Qwik Supply Chain Pvt Ltd is not a subsidiary of any Reliance entity.”

    To know more about this company, read this in-depth report by The Quint.

    Expand
  2. 2. Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited

    On 11 April, 2023, the BJP received a donation of Rs 115 crore via 115 bonds of Rs 1 crore purchased in Hyderabad. When we checked the bond-purchasers database for the corresponding dates, we found that Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, a Hyderabad-based firm had purchased 140 bonds of Rs 1 crore each on the same day.

    On that day no other company purchased bonds even close to that range. Three other donations by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited that seem to have been made to the BJP are Rs 33 crore on 6 April 2021 (credited on 8 April) and Rs 40 crore on 10 January, 2022 (credited on 12 January), Rs 49 crore on 12 December 2022 (credited on 16 December), Rs 32 crore on 27 January 2023 (credited 31 January).

    MEIL was founded as Megha Engineering Enterprises in 1989 by Pamireddy Pitchi Reddy, a Hyderabad-based industrialist. To know more about the company, read this story by The Quint.

    The firm had faced IT raids in October 2019. During the BRS government's tenure, they were also at the receiving end of allegations around the Kaleshwaram project.

    Megha is the second highest electoral bonds donor and purchased bonds worth Rs 966 crore between 2019 and 2023.

    We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

    Expand
  3. 3. Future Gaming and Hotel Services

    This company's main business is lottery, and was founded by Santiago Martin. With electoral bonds worth Rs 1368 crore, it is the highest donor to political parties through the method of electoral bonds.

    The DMK has already declared that it got over Rs 500 crore from Future Gaming. However, our investigation shows that the firm donated to the BJP as well.

    The BJP has listed that it received Rs 50 crore in electoral bonds from a company in Chennai on 5 October 2021. We checked the bond-purchasers database and found that only one Chennai-based company purchased 50 or more bonds of Rs 1 crore that day and that was Future Gaming.

    Similarly the BJP lists receiving Rs 50 crore from bonds purchased in Chennai on 5 January 2022. Again, the only Chennai-based company to purchase 50 or more Rs 1 crore bonds that day was Future Gaming.

    In fact, the company purchased 100 bonds. It is likely that the rest of the donations went to other parties.

    It is possible that Future Gaming may have made other donations to the BJP. That would be clear once the alphanumeric data of bond buyers is released.

    Future Gaming has faced several raids by the Enforcement Directorate. To know more on that, read our story.

    We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

    Expand
  4. 4. Aditya Birla Group

    The BJP has listed another big single-day donation through 100 bonds of Rs 1 crore each purchased in Mumbai on 12 December 2022.

    We went through the bond-purchasers database for that day and didn't find any company that had singlehandedly purchased 100 bonds of Rs 1 crore.

    However, several entities of the Aditya Birla Group purchased a number of Rs 1 crore bonds that come to Rs 100 crore.

    • ABNL Investment Limited - Rs 10 crore

    • Birla Carbon India Private Limited - Rs 55 crore

    • Utkal Alumina International Limited - Rs 35 crore

    Though ABNL Investment and Utkal Alumina are not listed in Mumbai, Birla Carbon is listed in Mumbai and moreover, the Aditya Birla Group has its head office in Mumbai.

    We have reached out to all the three entities for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

    Expand
  5. 5. DLF

    According to the BJP list, on 7 April 2022, 40 bonds of Rs 1 crore each were purchased in Delhi and donated to the BJP. They were credited on 16 April.

    On that day, the only Delhi-NCR based firm to make a donation in that range is real estate giant DLF Commercial Developers, which purchased 40 bonds Rs 1 crore each on 7 April according to the bond-purchasers data published on the EC website.

    DLF may have made more donations to the BJP but this is one transaction we can confirm for sure.

    We have reached out to DLF for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

    Expand
  6. 6. Haldia Energy Limited

    On 21 January 2023, BJP listed a donation of Rs 45 crore from one Kolkata-based entity. On studying the database of the companies which had purchased bonds, The Quint found that Haldia Energy Limited, a Kolkata based firm, had bought 45 bonds worth Rs 1 crore each on that date.  
     
    Haldia Energy Limited is among the top 5 donors through electoral bonds overall, having donated a total of Rs 377 crore between 2019 and 2024.

    Notably, Haldia Energy Limited had been booked by the CBI in 2020 in a case of alleged corruption. The group was also involved in an online bidding for the Sarisatolli coal mine in West Bengal, as reported by The Reporters' Collective.

    Read this story by The Quint to know more about the group.

    We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update the story when they reply.

    Expand
  7. 7. Torrent Power

    Though this firm is probably not involved in high single day donations through electoral bonds, we were able to zero in on it based on a low denomination but high volume purchase.

    According to the BJP list, on 7 January 2022, it received Rs 10 crore through the purchase of 100 bonds of Rs 10 lakh each in Ahmedabad. It is an unusually high amount of Rs 10 lakh bonds.

    The purchasers database revealed that, Gujarat based Torrent Power had purchased 100 bonds of Rs 10 lakh on the same day, 7 January 2022.

    This seems to have been the same transaction listed in the BJP list.

    The Torrent Group is known to enjoy good ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    When Modi faced flak in a Confederation of Indian Industry meeting from senior industrialists, Torrent Group chairman Sudhir Mehta along with Gautam Adani formed the Resurgent Gujarat Group that threatened to break away from the CII.

    We have reached out to Torrent Power for a response. We will update the story when they reply.

    Expand
  8. 8. Rs 100 Crore Bonds Purchased in Delhi

    The BJP, in its submission to EC, revealed a donation of Rs 100 crore via electoral bonds purchased in New Delhi on 14 November 2022.

    According to the list of donors released by the EC on Thursday, only one company purchased bonds amounting to the tune of Rs 100 crore on that day — Vedanta Limited, which purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 110 crore.

    Now the total number of bonds purchased by donors on 14 November 2022 amounts to Rs 195.6 crore as per the data provided in the bond purchasers' list.

    If we remove Vedanta’s share from this, we’re left with Rs 85.6 crore which is the amount of combined bonds purchased by other donors. Based on this, it is unlikely that BJP's Rs 100 crore can be made up without Vedanta's contribution.

    However, the group is registered in Mumbai and this transaction is in Delhi, therefore we are not in a position to confirm this transaction without doubt.

    However, we have still reached out to Vedanta for their response. We will update the story when they reply.

    Expand
  9. 9. Caveats and BJP's Response

    This data is based on the premise that the dates and figures disclosed by the BJP and the list of electoral-bond purchasers provided by the SBI and published in the EC website are accurate.

    We have zeroed in on these companies based on large purchases on a single day. However, it is possible that there may be firms with high donations for the BJP but with smaller but more frequent transactions. Those are tougher to pick. In either case, the above case studies will be among BJP's top donors in this period.

    This is the BJP's stand as given in the document it gave in the sealed envelope:

    "It is duly submitted that as per the applicable laws stated above, the Party is not required to maintain the names and particulars of the donors of the Electoral Bonds and as such the Party has not maintained these particulars.

    There is an exemption from maintaining any details regarding the particulars of donations received though Electoral Bonds in the Income Tax Act, 1961 as well.

    The Electoral Bonds were introduced with the aim of bringing only accounted for funds in political funding while protecting the donors from any consequences therefrom."

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

QWIK Supply Chain Private Limited

According to the list of Electoral Bond donations given by the BJP, on 5 January, 2022 the party received a donation of Rs 200 crore through 200 bonds of Rs 1 crore each purchased in Mumbai.

This was the biggest single-day donation to any party by a single entity in the six years electoral bonds were operational.

When we checked the database of bond-purchasers uploaded on the Election Commission website, we found that only one firm had purchased bonds in excess of Rs 200 crore on a single day. This was Mumbai-based Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, which bought 225 bounds worth Rs 1 crore each on 5 January 2022.

With the date being identical as the date of bond given in the BJP list, it is clear that this donation was indeed from Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, a Reliance-linked firm.

We don't have enough data to suggest where the remaining 25 bonds went. This will be clear only when the alphanumeric unique IDs of the electoral bonds is made public.

The second time the firm bought electoral bonds of a significant value was 11 November 2022, worth Rs 125 crore. Incidentally, BJP’s records also show a bond bought on the same day of the exact same amount, from a Mumbai firm. On that date, no other company bought electoral bonds worth Rs 125 crore.

Therefore, in all probability, this donation was also to the BJP.

Qwik Supply is the third largest donor to political parties via electoral bonds. The firm may have given more donations to the BJP via Electoral Bonds but that will be clear only after the alphanumeric codes are released. These two big transactions we can say for sure, went to the BJP.

The longest-serving director of Qwik Supply is Tapas Mitra who was appointed on November 17, 2014 and has directorships in 25 other companies, including Reliance Eros Productions LLP, Reliance Tankages Private Limited, Reliance Group Support Service Private Limited, Reliance Fire Brigade Service Private Limited, Jamnagar Kandla Pipeline Company and several others. Some of these firms further share addresses with other Reliance firms-- Reliance Paging Private Limited, Jamnagar Ratlam Pipeline Private Limited, Reliance Tankages Private Limited and Reliance Oil and Petroleum Private Limited.

The Qwik Supply Chain’s registered address is at Navi Mumbai’s Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC).

The Quint reached out to Qwik Supply Chain via email. The report will be updated if and when there is a response. Last week, in response to news agency PTI, Reliance had said: "Qwik Supply Chain Pvt Ltd is not a subsidiary of any Reliance entity.”

To know more about this company, read this in-depth report by The Quint.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited

On 11 April, 2023, the BJP received a donation of Rs 115 crore via 115 bonds of Rs 1 crore purchased in Hyderabad. When we checked the bond-purchasers database for the corresponding dates, we found that Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, a Hyderabad-based firm had purchased 140 bonds of Rs 1 crore each on the same day.

On that day no other company purchased bonds even close to that range. Three other donations by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited that seem to have been made to the BJP are Rs 33 crore on 6 April 2021 (credited on 8 April) and Rs 40 crore on 10 January, 2022 (credited on 12 January), Rs 49 crore on 12 December 2022 (credited on 16 December), Rs 32 crore on 27 January 2023 (credited 31 January).

MEIL was founded as Megha Engineering Enterprises in 1989 by Pamireddy Pitchi Reddy, a Hyderabad-based industrialist. To know more about the company, read this story by The Quint.

The firm had faced IT raids in October 2019. During the BRS government's tenure, they were also at the receiving end of allegations around the Kaleshwaram project.

Megha is the second highest electoral bonds donor and purchased bonds worth Rs 966 crore between 2019 and 2023.

We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

0

Future Gaming and Hotel Services

This company's main business is lottery, and was founded by Santiago Martin. With electoral bonds worth Rs 1368 crore, it is the highest donor to political parties through the method of electoral bonds.

The DMK has already declared that it got over Rs 500 crore from Future Gaming. However, our investigation shows that the firm donated to the BJP as well.

The BJP has listed that it received Rs 50 crore in electoral bonds from a company in Chennai on 5 October 2021. We checked the bond-purchasers database and found that only one Chennai-based company purchased 50 or more bonds of Rs 1 crore that day and that was Future Gaming.

Similarly the BJP lists receiving Rs 50 crore from bonds purchased in Chennai on 5 January 2022. Again, the only Chennai-based company to purchase 50 or more Rs 1 crore bonds that day was Future Gaming.

In fact, the company purchased 100 bonds. It is likely that the rest of the donations went to other parties.

It is possible that Future Gaming may have made other donations to the BJP. That would be clear once the alphanumeric data of bond buyers is released.

Future Gaming has faced several raids by the Enforcement Directorate. To know more on that, read our story.

We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Aditya Birla Group

The BJP has listed another big single-day donation through 100 bonds of Rs 1 crore each purchased in Mumbai on 12 December 2022.

We went through the bond-purchasers database for that day and didn't find any company that had singlehandedly purchased 100 bonds of Rs 1 crore.

However, several entities of the Aditya Birla Group purchased a number of Rs 1 crore bonds that come to Rs 100 crore.

  • ABNL Investment Limited - Rs 10 crore

  • Birla Carbon India Private Limited - Rs 55 crore

  • Utkal Alumina International Limited - Rs 35 crore

Though ABNL Investment and Utkal Alumina are not listed in Mumbai, Birla Carbon is listed in Mumbai and moreover, the Aditya Birla Group has its head office in Mumbai.

We have reached out to all the three entities for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

DLF

According to the BJP list, on 7 April 2022, 40 bonds of Rs 1 crore each were purchased in Delhi and donated to the BJP. They were credited on 16 April.

On that day, the only Delhi-NCR based firm to make a donation in that range is real estate giant DLF Commercial Developers, which purchased 40 bonds Rs 1 crore each on 7 April according to the bond-purchasers data published on the EC website.

DLF may have made more donations to the BJP but this is one transaction we can confirm for sure.

We have reached out to DLF for a response. We will update our story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Haldia Energy Limited

On 21 January 2023, BJP listed a donation of Rs 45 crore from one Kolkata-based entity. On studying the database of the companies which had purchased bonds, The Quint found that Haldia Energy Limited, a Kolkata based firm, had bought 45 bonds worth Rs 1 crore each on that date.  
 
Haldia Energy Limited is among the top 5 donors through electoral bonds overall, having donated a total of Rs 377 crore between 2019 and 2024.

Notably, Haldia Energy Limited had been booked by the CBI in 2020 in a case of alleged corruption. The group was also involved in an online bidding for the Sarisatolli coal mine in West Bengal, as reported by The Reporters' Collective.

Read this story by The Quint to know more about the group.

We have reached out to the company for a response. We will update the story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Torrent Power

Though this firm is probably not involved in high single day donations through electoral bonds, we were able to zero in on it based on a low denomination but high volume purchase.

According to the BJP list, on 7 January 2022, it received Rs 10 crore through the purchase of 100 bonds of Rs 10 lakh each in Ahmedabad. It is an unusually high amount of Rs 10 lakh bonds.

The purchasers database revealed that, Gujarat based Torrent Power had purchased 100 bonds of Rs 10 lakh on the same day, 7 January 2022.

This seems to have been the same transaction listed in the BJP list.

The Torrent Group is known to enjoy good ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

When Modi faced flak in a Confederation of Indian Industry meeting from senior industrialists, Torrent Group chairman Sudhir Mehta along with Gautam Adani formed the Resurgent Gujarat Group that threatened to break away from the CII.

We have reached out to Torrent Power for a response. We will update the story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Rs 100 Crore Bonds Purchased in Delhi

The BJP, in its submission to EC, revealed a donation of Rs 100 crore via electoral bonds purchased in New Delhi on 14 November 2022.

According to the list of donors released by the EC on Thursday, only one company purchased bonds amounting to the tune of Rs 100 crore on that day — Vedanta Limited, which purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 110 crore.

Now the total number of bonds purchased by donors on 14 November 2022 amounts to Rs 195.6 crore as per the data provided in the bond purchasers' list.

If we remove Vedanta’s share from this, we’re left with Rs 85.6 crore which is the amount of combined bonds purchased by other donors. Based on this, it is unlikely that BJP's Rs 100 crore can be made up without Vedanta's contribution.

However, the group is registered in Mumbai and this transaction is in Delhi, therefore we are not in a position to confirm this transaction without doubt.

However, we have still reached out to Vedanta for their response. We will update the story when they reply.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Caveats and BJP's Response

This data is based on the premise that the dates and figures disclosed by the BJP and the list of electoral-bond purchasers provided by the SBI and published in the EC website are accurate.

We have zeroed in on these companies based on large purchases on a single day. However, it is possible that there may be firms with high donations for the BJP but with smaller but more frequent transactions. Those are tougher to pick. In either case, the above case studies will be among BJP's top donors in this period.

This is the BJP's stand as given in the document it gave in the sealed envelope:

"It is duly submitted that as per the applicable laws stated above, the Party is not required to maintain the names and particulars of the donors of the Electoral Bonds and as such the Party has not maintained these particulars.

There is an exemption from maintaining any details regarding the particulars of donations received though Electoral Bonds in the Income Tax Act, 1961 as well.

The Electoral Bonds were introduced with the aim of bringing only accounted for funds in political funding while protecting the donors from any consequences therefrom."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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