EC Makes New Electoral Bonds Data Public

New Delhi: Some skeletons tumbled out as the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday made public the data submitted by political parties on the electoral bonds (EB). While parties like the BJP, Congress, TMC and SP withheld details of their donors and provided only the total amount of money received with dates, a few like the DMK, AIADMK and JD(S) went a step ahead and declared it all, including who gave how much.

According to data uploaded by the EC, out of the total Rs 656.5 crore the DMK got, 83 per cent of the party's total donations amounting to Rs 509 crore came from the controversial Future Gaming and Hotel Services.
The party also declared several other names, like Megha Infrastructure, which gave it Rs 105 crore; Sun TV gave it Rs 10 crore and India Cements gave it Rs 5.50 crore.
At Rs 1,368 crore, Coimbatore-based Future Gaming of "lottery king" Santiago Martin was the biggest purchaser of EBs, of which nearly 37 per cent went to the DMK.
Its rival party in Tamil Nadu AIADMK got a total of Rs 6.05 crore, out of which India Cements, alone donated Rs 5 crore, while Lakshmi Machine Works gave Rs 1 crore. Another South India party, the JD(S) declared Rs 89.75 crores donation through bonds purchased by the Embassy Group of Companies (Rs 13 crores), Infosys (Rs 8 crores), Biocon (Rs 2.5 crores), Megha Engineering (Rs 5 crores) and JSW Steel (Rs 5 crores).
According to the latest dataset released by the EC, the BJP is the biggest beneficiary of the electoral bonds scheme, receiving the maximum funds of 6,986.5 crore. The ruling BJP at the Centre is followed by West Bengal's Trinamul Congress, which got Rs 1,397 crore. The Congress got Rs 1,334 crore and the BRS got Rs 1,322 crore.
The MCP got 50.51 crore, while the AAP declared it got `5.75 crore till May 2019, mostly through the Bajaj Group, which gave `3 crores.
Among regional parties, the BJD encashed electoral bonds worth `944.5 crore, the YSR Congress `442.8 crore, the TDP `181.35 crore, the SP got `14.05 crore, the Akali Dal got `7.26 crore, the Shiv Sena got `60.4 crore and the RJD got `56 crore.
Jammu and Kashmir's National Conference got `50 lakh in EBs through Bharti Group. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha got `15.50 crore.
The Left parties like the CPM, CPI, All India Forward Bloc, CPI-ML, did not participate in this process as they were principally opposed to it. The BSP, AIUDF, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Indian Union Muslim League, Indian National Lok Dal, Naga People’s Front and Lok Janshakti Party (RV) did not get any money.
The EC had sought information in detail about the electoral bonds redeemed by the political parties, specifying the dates and amount of the money received. This data was submitted by the EC in sealed covers to the Supreme Court and it was later asked to put the data in the public domain. Though the EC had sought only limited information, some parties went ahead and disclosed the names of the donors.
“In compliance with the Supreme Court's directions contained in its orders dated February 15 and March 11, this year, the EC has already uploaded data on electoral bonds as provided by the State Bank of India (SBI) vide press note of the Commission dated March 14. Political parties had filed data on electoral bonds in sealed cover as directed by the Supreme Court’s interim order dated April 12, 2019... Data so received from political parties was deposited in the Supreme Court without opening sealed covers. In pursuance of the Supreme Court’s order dated March 15, the Registry of the Supreme Court has returned physical copies along with a digitised record of the same in a pen drive in sealed cover. The Election Commission has today uploaded the data received in digitised form from the registry of the Supreme Court on electoral bonds on its website,” the EC said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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