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'Reliance-Linked' Qwik Supply Chain Donated Thrice, Each Time Before An Election

The third biggest donor had donated each time prior to a state election. BJP was the biggest encasher in the period.

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The third largest electoral bonds donor, Qwik Supply Chain (related to the Reliance group), had donated a total of Rs 410 crore in three installments, each time prior to an important state election. An analysis of the State Bank of India (SBI) data published by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday revealed that Qwik Supply Chain had donated money prior to the March 2022 elections in five states, the December 2022 elections in two states and the December 2023 elections in five states.

The Quint also analysed the time period between money donated by Qwik Supply Chain, and the election result day, to see which party encashed maximum amounts from electoral bonds in that period.

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BJP Biggest Encasher

The first and biggest donation that Qwik Supply Chain made was of Rupees 225 crore on 5 January 2022 , and then it gave an addition Rupees 10 crore five days later on 10 January 2022, making it a total of Rs 235 crore in the month of January.
 
This was just two months prior to the March 2022 elections scheduled in five states—Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.  
 
Between 5 January - the date of Qwik's first donation - and the Assembly election results day, the BJP had encashed over Rs 770 crore, in a span of weeks. As opposed to this, the Congress had encashed around Rs 116 crore in the same period.  
 
The second set of donations by Qwik Supply Chain came on 11 November 2022, weeks before the December 2022 state elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The company had donated Rs 125 crore. Between the date of donation to the election results day, the BJP had encashed over Rs 600 crore from electoral bonds. Compared to this, the Congress had encashed just over Rs 20 crore in this period.  Notably, on 7 November, just days before the donation, the central government's department of economic affairs had brought an amendment, allowing for an additional days of sale of electoral bonds in election years. Prior to that, electoral bonds were allowed to be sold only four times a year (January, April, July and October) for 10 days as notified by the government. But the gazette notification allowed for 15 days additional sale during the "year of general elections to the legislative assembly of states and Union territories with legislature”.
 
Finally, the third set of donations of Rs 50 crore came from the company on 17 November 2023. This was weeks prior to the December 2023 elections in five states namely Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram. Between the donation by the company and the election results on 3 December, the BJP encashed a total of Rs 903 crore while the Congress encashed Rs 68 crore. 
 
As per SBI's rules, electoral bonds are valid only for 15 calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee political party if the electoral bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period. Thus, the bond has to be encashed within 15 days. Other firms had also donated in this period, but there is no way to confirm which firm donated to which political party as the SBI has not released the electoral bond numbers.

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How Is Qwik Supply Chain Related To Reliance?

Qwik Supply Chain, which is a manufacturer of warehouses and storage units, has three directors – Tapas Mitra, Vipun Pranlal Mehta, and Sridhar Titti –-  and one key management personnel, Anushree Bhargava, according to TOFLER, a business intelligence platform for private companies in India. 
 
The longest-serving director 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.

Jamnagar Kandla Pipeline is registered in Ahmedabad at an address shared by some other Reliance companies, such as Reliance Paging Private Limited, Jamnagar Ratlam Pipeline Private Limited, Reliance Tankages Private Limited and Reliance Oil and Petroleum Private Limited. 

In a response to news agency PTI, Reliance has said: "Qwik Supply Chain Pvt Ltd is not a subsidiary of any Reliance entity.
 
Notably, as per TOFLER, the company had a revenue of Rs 500 crore in financial year 2022-23, while the total amount it has donated via electoral bonds is Rs 410 crore. 
 
The firm’s registered address is at Navi Mumbai’s Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC). In the financial year 2021-22, when it donated electoral bonds worth Rs 360 crore, its declared net profit was only Rs 21.72 crore.  

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Topics:  Electoral Bonds 

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