Live Mint
Gulam Jeelani

At ₹4,009.4 crore, country's financial capital Mumbai contributed about 24 per cent of the now-scrapped Electoral Bonds worth ₹16,518 Crore sold across cities in India until January, 16,982 bonds worth ₹10,402 Crore were redeemed in New Delhi in the same period

The largest share of electoral bonds was sold in Mumbai, since the inception of the donation scheme to political parties in 2018. However, most of the bonds were encashed in Delhi during the period.

According to data compiled by Election Watchdog, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Mumbai contributed about 24 per cent of the now-scrapped bonds worth 16,518 crore sold across cities in India until January 2024, with 5,426 bonds worth 4,009.4 crore.

Following Mumbai, Hyderabad ( 3,554 cr), Kolkata ( 3,333 cr), New Delhi ( 2,324 cr), and Chennai ( 1,524 cr) were the top cities in terms of bond sales. These five cities together accounted for over 14,744 crore, close to 90 percent worth of 28,030 bonds sold across 18 cities.

The Supreme Court (SC) on February 15 struck down the Electoral Bonds Scheme (EBS) and directed the State Bank of India (SBI), the sole issuer of bonds, to submit names of bond buyers, the dates of purchase, and amounts donated to the Election Commission (EC) by March 6. The poll panel has to publish these on its website by March 13.

Introduced by the Centre in 2018, EBS allowed individuals and corporations to anonymously fund political parties by purchasing electoral bonds from the State Bank of India. The bonds are sold in five denominations- one thousand, ten thousand, one lakh, ten lakh, and one crore.

While Mumbai tops the sale of bonds, the majority of them were redeemed in the national capital New Delhi. According to ADR, one among the four petitioners who had challenged the scheme along with Congress leader Jaya Thakur, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and non-profit Common Cause, as many as 16,982 bonds worth 10,402 crore were redeemed in New Delhi between March 2018 and January 2024.

Former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi called the SC verdict a significant judgment which, according to him, will have a long-term effect on India's electoral democracy.

Top Five Cities  Sale of EBS
Mumbai 4,009.4 Cr
Hyderabad  3,554 Cr
Kolkata 3,333 Cr
New Delhi 2,324 Cr

1,524 Cr

Top Five Cities Encashing EBS
New Delhi 10,402 Cr
Hyderabad  2,252 Cr
Kolkata  1,722 Cr
Bhubaneswar 962 Cr
Chennai  682 Cr
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