Electoral Bonds – India’s Political Corruption Scam

State Bank of India, which asked for 3 months to merge 2 Excel files, which an 18-year-old college intern can do in 5 minutes using the VLOOKUP formula in Excel. The parties actually know who donated the money to them. One company is Hub Power Ltd. Many people on social media said that this is a Pakistani company. These allegations are even more serious for the BJP. Because there are many examples where they have used central investigative agencies to put pressure on these companies. Megha Engineering bought bonds for BJP on 11th April, 2023. And a month later, they got a contract worth Rs 14,000 crores for Thane-Borivali Twin Tunnel in Maharashtra.

Now don’t think that other parties are stainless. BJP wasn’t the only party who did this. The electoral bonds data of the State Bank of India has created a stir in the Indian political system. “The Modi government is trying to cover up its misdeeds.” A total of 1260 companies and individuals have given electoral bonds worth Rs 16,000 crores to our political parties. The biggest donor was Future Gaming & Hotel Services Pvt. Ltd, which donated Rs 1,300 crores. The founder of this company is Santiago Martin. He was a labourer in Myanmar 30 years ago. And today, he’s known as the Lottery King. This data reveals so many secrets of political parties.

Some of these secrets are like a scene from a comedy movie for example; Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JDU party announced that on 10th April 2019, a man came to their office with a sealed envelope and left. When he opened the envelope, he found an electoral bond worth Rs 10 crores which he deposited. “There’s a secret JDU donor who left an electoral bond worth Rs 10 crores at the JDU office in Patna.”

The biggest news is how the BJP got a huge share of these electoral bonds, 50% and how the government used several investigative agencies to force the companies to donate money for example; Sharad Chandra Reddy, the director of Aurobindo Pharma, was arrested for the liquor scam in Delhi on 10th November 2022 and 5 days later, his company donated a Rs 5 crore electoral bond to the BJP. Next year, the ED told Delhi High Court to forgive Sharad and he had become an approver in this case. (An approver is someone who voluntarily provides evidence in a case)

When Amit Shah was asked about this data, he said that the BJP is in power in many states. But they didn’t get that much money. The money went to Congress and TMC. Seriously?

Between 2019 and 2024, political parties received more than Rs 12,000 crores from these bonds. If we add up the 2018 data, this number becomes Rs 16,000 crores. Out of this Rs 16,000 crores, BJP is in first place, they received Rs 8,500 crores which is about 50%. Congress got Rs 1950 crores in second place and Trinamool Congress got Rs 1707 crores. Santiago Martin’s company was at the top of the donor’s list. It gave Rs 1,300 crores between 2019 and 2024. Such companies gave money to almost all parties so that they can be protected from all sides, they gave Rs 552 crores to the Trinamool Congress, Rs 503 crores to DMK, Rs 154 crores to YSR Congress, Rs 100 crores to BJP, and Rs 50 crores to many Sikkim’s regional parties.

Mega Engineering Infrastructure Limited, which is a company of Telugu businessman Krishna Reddy, did the same after Santiago Martin, they gave the most money between 2019 and 2024, 60% of the money, i.e. Rs 584 crores, went to BJP, Rs 195 crores to BRS, and Rs 85 crores to DMK. The same company gave Rs 105 crores to DMK between 2018 and 2019. A subsidiary of this company gave Rs 110 crores to Congress and Rs 80 crores to BJP.

Many people are surprised to not see Reliance on the list, we saw that name from Qwik Supply Chain Pvt. Ltd, its director is Tapas Mishra, who is also a director in Reliance’s other companies and Qwik Supply Chain Ltd. bought the third highest electoral bonds in all the companies. Out of Rs 400 crores, they gave Rs 375 crores to BJP and Rs 25 crores to Shiv Sena.

Shockingly, many companies have donated more than their net profits to political parties for example; the net profit of Santiago Martin’s Future Gaming Company was Rs 215 crores between 2019 and 2022, but at that time, they donated more than Rs 1300 crores. The net profit of Qwik Supply Chain was Rs 109 crores, but they donated Rs 410 crores. Madanlal Ltd. had a net profit of Rs 10 crores in 4 years, but they donated Rs 185 crores.

According to electoral bonds data, around 50% of the money was in BJP’s hands, but electoral bonds are not the only way to collect money for a party. If we talk about all political financing, BJP has received 58% of the money, BJP has received Rs 12,000 crores since 2018. The next largest party is Congress, which has received Rs 2,500 crores.

Many companies gave money to the BJP and got other favours from the government. Let me give you some examples; Wonder Cement gave a 10-crore bond to the BJP on 6 November 2023 and 2 months later, the company set up a production unit in Gujarat. In December 2019, an infrastructure company in Lucknow, Apco Infratech won the contract to build a tunnel in the Kashmir valley and 1 month after this project, they gave 10 crore rupees to the BJP. Megha Engineering bought bonds for the BJP on 11 April 2023, one month later, they got a contract for a 14,000 crore.

The BJP wasn’t doing this alone. A garment company from Kerala, Kitex Group, bought a 15 crore bond in July 2023, the ruling party of Telangana, BRS, got this bond. In the same month, they announced that they’re setting up a factory worth 1,000 crore in Telangana.

The examples I gave you are not 100% proof that the parties are corrupt. But since there are so many examples, the burden of proof is not on the public. It’s on the parties and governments. They have to prove whether they’re corrupt or not.

A few days ago, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested for a liquor scam.One of the accused was P. Sarachandra Reddy, a director of Aurobindo Pharma. He was arrested on 10 November 2022, but 5 days after his arrest, the company gave 5 crore rupees to the BJP after which, he became the approver in this case. In September 2018, Haryana Police filed a case against Robert Vadra and DLF Group for corruption but 5 years later, in April 2023, the Haryana state government told the High Court that there was no problem and they should be released. It was found that DLF Group had given 170 crores rupees to the BJP between 2019 and 2022.

There are many more interesting examples. In January 2019, the Income Tax Department raided Alana Group, a meat exporting company a few months later, before the Maharashtra state election, the company gave 5 crore rupees to Shiv Sena and 1 crore rupees to the BJP.

Amit Shah is saying that if the electoral bond scheme is cancelled, political parties will use black money in cash again. What kind of logic is this? Earlier, a thief was breaking into a house. Now, the thief has been given the key to enter into the house. But the theft is happening. If your conscience is clear, bring political parties under RTI or get a third-party audit, remain transparent in your funding. What’s the problem? The problem is that all the institutions in the country listen to the government, whether it’s the media or the election commission.

The Supreme Court stepped in and the plan was ruined and the public start questioning the government. If the ideology of the party matches with you, it doesn’t mean you can’t question them. The Supreme Court has done its duty, Now, it’s your turn. If you’ve come this far, and if you’ve got good value,

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