Live Mint
Sayantani Biswas

Megha Engineering and Infrastructure, Serum Institute of India, and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India emerged as the highest donors in the electoral bonds funding political parties in India in FY23, according to a report by ADR. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) received the highest amount of funding.

A report published by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the electoral bonds funding political parties in India in financial year 2022-23 (FY23), has revealed that Megha Engineering and Infrastructure, Adar Poonawalla headed Serum Institute of India (SII), and Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India has emerged as the highest donors. 

Further the ADR also mentioned that of the total 366.495 crore funding that political parties received, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the recipient of the highest amount- 259.08 crore or 70.69 per cent. The report mentions, Prudent Electoral Trust donated 256.25 crore to BJP, in contrast to 336.50 in FY 2021-2022, hinting at a significant drop for the political party which received the highest donation.

In 2021-22, the BJP declared 1,033.70 crore through electoral bonds but only 614.52 crore through other contributions.

Another electoral trust Samaj ET Association donated 1.50 crore to BJP in FY23, and 50 lakhs to Congress. 

The report by ADR reveals that five electoral trusts received contributions for FY 23, of which 366.48 crore (99.99 per cent) to various political parties.

The report reveals that Telangana's former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) received the second highest donation- 90 crore, or 24.56 per cent. 

Andhra Pradesh based Yuvajana Shramika Rythu (YSR) Congress, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Mallikarjun Kharge-led Congress received a total funding of 17.40 crore collectively, ADR report stated.

Of the corporates, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure, Serum Institute of India (SII), and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel emerged as the top donors. 

Megha Engineering and Infrastructure made the highest contribution of 87 crore, followed by Serum Institute of India at 50.25 crore, and  ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd at 50 crore. 

According to the ADR report, ten corporates gave 332.26 crore, or 90.66 per cent of the total donations, to electoral trusts during FY23. All these 10 donors contributed to Prudent Electoral Trust.

Corporates and individuals from Telangana contributed 145.51 crore, followed by 105.25 crore from Maharashtra50.20 crore from Gujarat, 30.08 crore from West Bengal, 10 crore from Haryana, 7 crore from Tamil Nadu, 6.5 crore from Madhya Pradesh, 3 crore each from Andhra Pradesh and Delhi and 2 crore from Rajasthan.

ADR said 13 of the 18 electoral trusts, registered with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), submitted their contribution details for FY23 to the Election Commission, of which, only five declared that they received donations during that year.

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