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Electoral Bonds Data, Donor-Recipient Mapping Unclear?

Data does not map electoral bond buyers to recipients, it is unclear which individual and corporate donors were funding which parties.

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Electoral Bonds

Learn about the controversy surrounding electoral bonds and the lack of transparency in donor-recipient mapping.

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Companies and Individuals Donating Crores

The Reporters Collective, an independent news website, analyzed data released by the Election Commission and found that companies and individuals donated huge amounts of money to political parties through electoral bonds.

The Reporters Collective discovered that a Kotak group company, a company linked to YSR Congress Party MP Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy, a Reliance Industries accounts man named Laxmidas Vallabhdas Merchant, and a Reliance Industries company called Qwik Supply Chain Pvt Ltd were among the top donors.

Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court recently declared electoral bonds illegal, stating that the scheme violated voters’ right to know who was funding political parties.

Around 11% of the bonds issued between April 2019 and January 2024 were purchased by a firm led by Santiago Martin, also known as the Lottery King. His company, Future Gaming and Hotel Services, was the largest buyer of electoral bonds during that period.

Unclear Donor-Recipient Mapping

Despite the data on electoral bonds, it remains unclear which individuals and companies were funding which political parties.

The Reporters Collective highlighted instances where companies and individuals donated large sums of money through electoral bonds without revealing their identities, allowing them to avoid public scrutiny.

Questionable Donations

The Collective reported instances where donations were made by individuals and companies with questionable backgrounds.

For example, a privately-held company of the Kotak group purchased electoral bonds worth ₹60 crore shortly after Uday Kotak questioned the transparency of the scheme. Similarly, the YSR Congress Party MP’s construction firm donated ₹105 crore after facing allegations of tax evasion.

Opaque Electoral Bonds Scheme

The now-scrapped electoral bonds scheme allowed individuals and companies to donate to political parties without disclosing their identities, leading to concerns about transparency and accountability.

The Collective’s investigation shed light on how big companies used unknown individuals and zero-revenue companies to donate on their behalf, avoiding public scrutiny in the process.

Vinay Kumar is Marketing Professional turned Entrepreneur, believes in turning ideas into reality.

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