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Electoral Bonds: Firms Donated Way Beyond Their Profits, Which Parties Gained?

Despite incurring a loss of Rs 495 crore, Navyuga Engineering donated all of its bonds, worth Rs 55 crore, to BJP.

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West Bengal-based FMCG company Keventer Foodpark Infra Ltd, which donated over 150 times its profit in the financial year 2019-20, gave the maximum share of its electoral bonds to the BJP, data made public by the Election Commission on 21 March shows.  

After the Supreme Court rap, the State Bank of India (SBI) submitted the complete electoral bonds data including unique alphanumeric codes which link the donor or companies with political parties.   

The Quint had earlier reported that at least 15 companies – big and small – had donated more than their capacity (in terms of net profit/equity) to political parties through the now-banned electoral bonds.  

Now, with alphanumeric codes available, let’s look at those companies, making less or no profits, donated to which political parties. 

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MKJ-Keventer Group

The MKJ Group – led by noted industrialist Mahendra Kumar Jalan and based in Kolkata, West Bengal – donated Rs 192.42 crore between 2019 and 2023, primarily to the Congress, followed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP.  

  • In FY 2019, when the company made a net profit of Rs 5.03 crore, it donated nearly three times its profit, or Rs 14.4 crore to the BJP.   

  • In 2022, the firm made a profit of Rs 62.9 crore but donated nearly Rs 30 crore to the Congress and Rs 20 crore to the TMC.  

  •  In 2023, MKJ Group donated the maximum amount – Rs 54.1 crore – to the Congress, followed by Rs 16.5 crore to the BJP.  

Keventer Foodpark Infra Ltd: Jalan is listed as Chairman Emeritus on the Keventer website. Based in Kolkata, this company donated Rs 195 crore in 2019. The lion’s share of this – Rs 144.5 crore or nearly three quarters of the bonds purchased in value – went to the BJP.

In the same fiscal, the firm’s profit was Rs 12.4 lakh, or 0.0006 times what it donated to political parties using electoral bonds.  
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Keventer Foodpark also donated Rs 20 crore each to the Congress and the TMC in 2009. 

Madanlal Ltd, which is registered at the same address as MKJ Enterprises, bought electoral bonds worth Rs 185 crore in 2019 and donated 95 percent of those to the BJP. The remaining 5 percent – or Rs 10 crore was donated to the Congress.  

Incidentally, its profit for FY 2019-20 was Rs 1.84 crore rupees, which means the firm donated over 100 times its profit to political parties through poll bonds.

Siddharth Gupta, who is on the board of directors of MKJ Enterprises, Keventer Capital and Keventer Projects, is also a director at Madanlal.  

Another company, Sasmal Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, with Mahendra Kumar Jalan on the board of directors, donated Rs 39 crore to the Congress and Rs 5 crore to the BJP.

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Navyuga Engineering Company Ltd

Navayuga Engineering — which had built the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand that collapsed on 12 November 2023, trapping 41 workers for over 16 days — donated all of its electoral bonds worth Rs 55 crore to the BJP in two tranches: Rs 45 crore in 2019 and Rs 10 crore in 2022.

However, in the last four years, Navayuga Engineering registered a consolidated net loss of Rs 495 crore. 

The Hyderabad-based firm has bagged many ‘iconic projects’ including the Dhola-Sadia Bridge, over the Brahmaputra River in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017. 

In April 2021, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd acquired complete control of Krishnapatnam Port Co Ltd from the Navayuga Group for Rs 2,800 crore. 

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IFB Agro Industries Ltd

Kolkata-based IFB Agro Industries, which is a seafood processing firm and has IMIL bottling plants spread across West Bengal, donated Rs 42 crore or nearly half the electoral bonds it purchased, to the TMC between 2021 and 2023. 

This was followed by donating Rs 35 crore to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) between 2023 and January 2024.

The firm – helmed by Amitabha Mukhopadhyay – made a net profit of Rs 175.8 crore over the last four years and purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 92.3 crore, nearly half of its profit.  

Interestingly, in a recording of the company’s Annual General Meeting for FY2023, the Executive Vice-Chairman Arup Kumar Banerjee and Managing Director and Mukhopadhyay said that the bonds were bought “as per our instructions from the government.” 

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Infotel Linked to Ambani’s Old Business Associate Gave All Bonds to BJP

Infotel Access Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Infotel Business Solutions Ltd and Infotel Technologies Pvt Ltd donated all the electoral bonds they purchased – worth Rs 30 crore – in 2019 to the BJP. 

Of these, Infotel Technologies donated Rs 10 crore to the BJP while making a net profit of Rs 14.3 crore in the last four financial years.

This means, the firm donated nearly 70 percent of its net profit from the last four years to the BJP. 

Infotel Technologies has three directors: Kamal Kumar Sharma, Akhilesh Tripathi and Nitin Ved. It is linked to Surendra Lunia, an old business associate of Mukesh Ambani, through their director Kamal Kumar Sharma, who is the Executive Director and CFO at Lunia’s Infotel group. 

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Chennai Green Woods Pvt Ltd

Hyderabad-based Chennai Green Woods, a construction company, made profits of Rs 36.6 crore in the last four fiscal years and donated nearly three times the amount – Rs 105 crore – to political parties.   

The firm is owned by the Ramky Group, whose chairman is YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP Ayodhya Rami Reddy. It registered a net profit of Rs 14.15 crore in FY 2021-22. 

In January 2022, the company donated Rs 50 crore, which is almost half of its total bonds in value and 3.5 times its profit for the same fiscal, to former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS). 

Six months earlier, in July 2021, 15 properties linked to Chennai Green Woods were raided by the Income Tax Department. 

Of the remaining, Rs 40 crore went to the TMC in April 2022 while Rs 15 crore went to the Congress in October last year, a month before Assembly elections were held in Telangana. 

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Rithwik Projects Private Ltd

Rithwik Projects – a Hyderabad based mining and infrastructure company – donated electoral bonds worth Rs 45 crore to political parties last year. Of this, two thirds or Rs 30 crore were donated to the Congress while Rs 10 crore went to the Janata Dal (Secular) and Rs 5 crore went to Telugu Desam Party (TDP).  

The company, founded by BJP Rajya Sabha MP, CM Ramesh, is a major player in the infrastructure development sector across India, and holds important government contracts.

Ramesh was a close aide of former Andhra chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and an MP from TDP, which has sealed an alliance with the BJP for the upcoming Assembly elections.  

According to a report in The Hindu, days after Rithwik Projects bagged ₹1,098-crore Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Sunni hydroelectric project in Himachal Pradesh in January last year, it bought bonds worth Rs 5 crore. According to the recently-released data, these bonds were given to the TDP. 

Interestingly, Rs 10 crore were donated in electoral bonds to HD Deve Gowda’s JD(S) in April 2023, just ahead of Karnataka Assembly elections. Rs 40 crore were encashed by the Congress around the same time.

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Smaller Firms That Spent More Than Paid-Up Capital Donated to BRS   

In addition to these, The Quint had earlier reported that there are smaller firms whose paid-up capital was in just lakhs of rupees even as they purchased bonds worth crores of rupees within months of being set up.

  1. Hyderabad based Vasavi Avenues LLP, registered on 6 April 2023 with a paid-up capital of Rs 10 lakh, donated Rs 5 crore to KCR’s BRS in July 2023, within three months of inception.

  2. Telangana-based real-estate company Tsharks Infra Developers Pvt Ltd was set up with a paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh in March 2023. Within four months, in July 2023, they donated Rs 3.5 crore to BRS through electoral bonds.

  3. Registered under the same address as Tsharks Infra Developers mentioned above, Tsharks Overseas Education Consultancy Pvt Ltd was set up in May 2023 with a paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh. In July 2023, they donated bonds worth Rs 4 crore to BRS.

  4. Hyderabad-based construction firm Aparna Farms and Estates LLP was registered on 18 August 2020 with a paid-up capital of Rs 5 lakhs. Owned by Subramanyam Reddy Sannareddy and Venkateswara Reddy Chennuru, the company donated Rs 15 crore each to the Congress and BRS between October-November 2023, right before Assembly elections were due in Telangana. 

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With Inputs from Abhilash Mallick 

(Editor's Note: There is a slight mismatch in the overall data provided on the EC website as there are some entries with codes missing. We have relied on the codes that have been provided.) 

(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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Topics:  BJP   Telangana   Trinamool Congress 

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