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Electoral Bonds | Big Donations to BJP, BRS, and Congress From Pharma Sector

The top donor in this sector — Yashoda Hospital — donated more than half of its total donations to the BRS.

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New data uploaded by the Election Commission of India, provided to it by the State Bank of India, shows that pharmaceutical and healthcare firms bought electoral bonds worth hundreds of crores for the BJP, the BRS, and the Congress party.

Previously, we had listed some of the biggest buyers of electoral bonds in the health and pharmaceutical sector, but there was insufficient data to connect the purchaser of the bond and the depositor.

An analysis of the alpha-numeric data reveals the names of those companies and the amount they donated to which political party. Incidentally, many of these companies were under investigation for substandard quality of drugs or income tax reasons.

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YASHODA SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPITAL

162 donations, a total of Rs 162 crore

BRS - Rs 94 cr

Congress - Rs 64 cr

BJP - Rs 2 cr

AAP - Rs 1 cr

YSR Congress - Rs 1 cr

This corporate hospital chain was raided by Income Tax (IT) officials in December 2020. 

DR.REDDY'S LABORATORIES LTD

84 donations, a total of Rs 84 crore

BRS - Rs 32 cr

BJP - Rs 25 cr

Congress - Rs 14 cr

TDP - Rs 13 cr

In November 2023, IT officials conducted raids on Dr K Nagender Reddy of Dr Reddy's Laboratories over allegations of tax evasion. This was part of a larger operation involving searches at the premises of Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy. 

TORRENT PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED, TORRENT PHARMACEUTICALS LTD

91 donations, a total of Rs 77.5 crore

BJP - Rs 61 cr

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha - Rs 7 cr

Congress - Rs 5 cr

Samajwadi Party - Rs 3 cr

AAP - Rs 1 cr

Sikkim Democratic Front - Rs 50 L

Quite a couple of medicines at Torrent had failed drug quality tests around the time of their purchase of electoral bonds.

A Scroll investigation found that the antiplatelet medicine Deplatt-150 failed the salicylic acid test in 2018. In 2019, Losar H, a medicine for lowering blood pressure, was found to be substandard by the Gujarat Food and Drug Administration.

And very recently, in February 2023, Lopamide, the medicine used to treat diarrhoea, failed the dissolution test and was found to be substandard.

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NATCO PHARMA LTD, NATCO PHARMA LIMITED

76 donations, a total of Rs 69.25 crore

BRS - Rs 20 cr

BJP - Rs 15 cr

TDP - Rs 14 cr

Congress- Rs 12.25 cr

Jana Sena - Rs 5 cr

YSR Congress - Rs 3 cr

HETERO DRUGS LIMITED, HETERO LABS LIMITED, HETERO BIOPHARMA LIMITED

60 donations, a total of Rs 60 crore

BRS - Rs 50 cr

BJP - Rs 10 cr

In October 2021, IT raids allegedly detected Rs 550 crore unaccounted income linked to the firm.

In 2021-22, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration issued six notices issued to Hetero for substandard drugs. These include remdesivir, Itbor capsule, and Monocef.

Hetero is owned by BRS Rajya Sabha MP B Pardhasaradhi Reddy.

DIVI S LABORATORIES LIMITED

55 donations, a total of Rs 55 crore

BJP - Rs 30 cr

BRS - Rs 20 cr

Congress - Rs 5 cr

The Hyderabad-based laboratory faced IT Action in February 2019.

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AUROBINDO PHARMA LIMITED, AUROBINDO PHARMA LTD

70 donations, a total of Rs 52 crore

BJP - Rs 34.5 cr

BRS - Rs 15 cr

TDP - Rs 2.5 cr

The Enforcement Directorate, in November 2022, arrested Sarath Reddy, Director of Aurobindo Pharma in connection with a money laundering probe related to the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.

Five days after this, the company donated electoral bonds worth Rs 5 crore to the BJP.

Aurobindo Pharma then made another set of donations—worth Rs 25 crore—in November 2023, five months after becoming an approver in the ED case. This Rs 25 crore was also donated by the company to the BJP. This was the biggest set of donations made the company via electoral bonds.

Read the full story here.

CIPLA LTD, CIPLA LIMITED

41 donations, total Rs 39.2 crore

BJP - Rs 37 cr

Congress - Rs 2.2 cr

MSN PHARMACHEM PVT LTD, MSN LABORATORIES PVT LTD, MSN ORGANICS PVT LTD

38 donations, total Rs 38 crore

BRS - Rs 20 cr

BJP - Rs 18 cr

The Income Tax Department conducted raids on the premises of MSN Pharma and its offices in 2021.

SUN PHARMA LABORATORIES LIMITED, SUN PHARMA LABORATORIES LTD

36 donations, total Rs 31.5 crore

BJP - Rs 31.5 cr

ZYDUS HEALTHCARE LIMITED

29 donations, total Rs 29 crore

BJP - Rs 18 crore

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha - Rs 8 crore

Congress - Rs 3 crore

Scroll reported that in 2021, the Bihar drug regulator declared a batch of remdesivir medicines manufactured by Zydus as “not of standard quality."

Additionally, Zydus group in February 2022 announced that it had started the supply of its COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, to the central government. The group was also planning to make the vaccine available in the private market.

As the Election Commission of India reveals the SBI-provided data on electoral bonds, The Quint team is rigorously analysing the numbers and bringing you the bigger picture of the political donations. Follow our full coverage here.

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