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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightElectoral Bond yields...

Electoral Bond yields Rs 16,517 Crore: BJP leads beneficiaries

Electoral Bond yields Rs 16,517 Crore: BJP leads beneficiaries

In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court has struck down the controversial electoral bond scheme, citing concerns over transparency and accountability in political funding. The ruling comes after years of scrutiny and legal battles surrounding the scheme, which allowed for anonymous donations to political parties.

According to data obtained by the Right of Information, a staggering total of Rs 16,517 crore worth of electoral bonds were sold between March 2018 and January 2024. This revelation sheds light on the extent of political funding through this opaque mechanism.

The data exposes the significant disparities in funding among political parties. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the biggest beneficiary, having received Rs 6570 crore, which accounts for 54% of the total electoral bonds sold. Following closely behind, the Congress party received Rs 1123 crore, while Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress secured Rs 1092 crore.

Among regional parties, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) received Rs 912 crore, with an astounding 50% of donations coming in the financial year 2022-2023, preceding the Telangana Assembly elections. However, despite this significant funding, TRS faced defeat in the December 2023 elections.

Other notable beneficiaries include Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with Rs 774 crore, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with Rs 616 crore, and the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) with Rs 381 crore.

In a noteworthy stance, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) stood out as the only mainstream political party to conscientiously refuse electoral bonds, emphasizing its commitment to transparency in political funding.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), one of the petitioners challenging the scheme, compiled the party-wise figures, further highlighting the contentious nature of electoral funding in India.

In addition to striking down the scheme, the Supreme Court has ordered the State Bank of India (SBI), the issuer of electoral bonds, to publish donation details by March 13. Furthermore, the court has mandated the return of all electoral bonds that have not been encashed, signalling a significant step towards accountability and transparency in political financing.

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