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Santiago Martin among top donors to Stalin’s DMK in electoral bonds: ECI

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Santiago Martin among top donors to Stalin’s DMK in electoral bonds: ECI
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New Delhi : The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday revealed the declarations about electoral bonds it received from various national and state political parties.

The poll body, having submitted these details in sealed covers to the Supreme Court, was later asked to make the data public.

According to the second set of SBI electoral bonds data posted by the ECI on its website, lottery king Santiago Martin's Future Gaming, and Megha Engineering & Infra are the top donors to MK Stalin-led DMK, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu, through electoral bonds, with Future Gaming contributing Rs 509 crore and Megha Engineering Rs 105 crore.

The total monetary contribution that the DMK got through electoral bonds stands at Rs 656.5 crore. The other major contributors to DMK include India Cements (Rs 14 crore) and Sun TV (Rs 100) crore.

DMK's rival AIADMK received a total of Rs 6.05 crore in electoral bonds out of which Rs 5 crore were contributed by Chennai Super Kings. Lakshmi Machine Works was the other top donor to AIADMK.

Janata Dal (United) has declared receiving Rs 10 crore. The response that the JD(U) had given in the letter to the EC official was quite interesting in itself.

“We are neither aware about the details of the donors nor did we try to know. Somebody came to our office and handed over a sealed envelope and when it was opened we found a bunch containing 10 electoral bonds of Rs one crore each. We opened an account in SBI in Patna and deposited the same into the account. In view of the situation, we are unable to provide any detail about the donors,” says the JD(U) in the letter.

Meanwhile, the BJP received Rs 6,986.5 crore through electoral bonds, which is the maximum since the bonds were introduced in 2018.

TMC got Rs 1397 crore, the second largest recipient after BJP. However, Bengal’s ruling party did not disclose the donors, saying that these are bearer bonds and no details of purchasers are printed on them.

“Messengers dropped them in the drop box of the office. We have requested the SBI to provide us with the required details of the issuers of the bonds as the KYC and ID proofs of the buyers are with the bank,” Trinamool’s letter says.

Congress redeemed a total of Rs 1334.35 crore through electoral bonds. The BRS encashed bonds worth Rs 1322 crore. Odisha's ruling party, BJD, got Rs 944.5 crore. Andhra Pradesh's ruling party YSR Congress redeemed bonds worth nearly Rs 442.8 crore.

The JD(S) received bonds worth Rs 89.75 crore, including Rs 50 crore from Megha Engineering, the second-largest purchaser of electoral bonds. The party also got Rs 22 crore from Embassy Group.

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has received Rs 50 lakh from Bharti Group, and SDF has received donations worth Rs 50 lakh from Alembic Pharma. MGP Goa has received Rs 55 lakh from VM Salgaoncar and Brothers.

San Beverages, SK Traders, and BS Traders emerge as top donors to the Samajwadi Party. In 2019, Aam Aadmi Party received Rs 3 crore from Bajaj Group and Rs 1 crore from Torrent Pharmaceuticals. The TDP redeemed bonds worth Rs 181.35 crore, Shiv Sena Rs 60.4 crore, and RJD 56 crore.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) among national parties, and the Communist Party of India, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Indian Union Muslim League, and the Kerala Congress among state parties, denied receiving any Electoral Bonds (EBs).

Earlier, the ECI in a statement said: “Political parties had filed data on Electoral Bonds in a sealed cover as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s interim order dated April 12, 2019, in the said WP No.880 of 2017. Data so received from political parties was deposited in the Hon’ble Supreme Court without opening sealed covers. In pursuance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order on March 15, 2024, 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 of India has today uploaded the data received in digitised form from the registry of the Supreme Court on electoral bonds on its website," the EC added.

IANS with edits

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TAGS:MK StalinDMKIndia NewsLok Sabha Elections 2024
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