The Donor-Gainers: Electoral Bond Revelations Show, Only 1 Out Of Top 10 Donors Listed On Markets

The Donor-Gainers: Electoral Bond Revelations Show, Only 1 Out Of Top 10 Donors Listed On Markets

The bank, in pursuance to the top court's order transferred the data to the Election Commission of India, who in turn notified the availability of the said data on the website on 14 March itself.

Juviraj AnchilUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 05:44 PM IST
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The electoral bond bombshell has finally been burst, after a legal tussle, that eventually saw SBI's resistance being thwarted by Supreme Court's rejection of the bank's plea, asking for an extension in the time to reveal the details of the information from the electoral bonds.

The bank, in pursuance to the top court's order transferred the data to the Election Commission of India, who in turn notified the availability of the said data on the website on 14 March itself.

The data revealed, has thrown into the public domain some interesting names. For, these names may not be familiar to all, at least on their face. The top 10 donors, that have been enlisted do not feature any of the ostensible 'big names' of the Indian corporate ecosystem.

Another piece of information, that supplements the thought of the dearth of major corporations is the fact, that only one of the top 10 donors mentioned happens to be a listed company. This, as some of the companies amongst the Top 10 entities is directly or indirectly owned by major players in India Inc.

Coming on top, with a colossal Rs 1,368 crore, is Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR, a Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) based company owned by Santiago Martin, someone, who in the past has been mired in controversies surrounding impropriety. Martin has been under the scrutiny of the financial crime agencies for over a decade.

Then comes Megha Engineering and Hotel & Infrastructure Ltd, a Hyderabad-based infrastructure company, who donated an amount of Rs 966 crore through the bonds. The company most famously defeated Larsen and Toubro, to bag the contract to construct the ambitious Thane-Borivali twin tunnel in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. In addition, the company has been raided by the IT department on different occasions. The company also owns Olectra Greentech, recording a 3000 booking for its E-buses.

With Rs 410 crore comes Qwik Supply Chain Ltd. comes in at third. A Navi Mumbai-based company is alleged to have links with Reliance. The company has been mentioned as a supply chain vendor by the latter in one of its documentations. Not a lot of information is currently available in the public domain. The company does not even appear to have an websites of its own. No news of bureaucratic or law enforcement action has been recorded against Qwik Supply

One of the known, and arguably the 'biggest name', and interestingly the only listed company on the list is Vedanta Ltd. Vedanta is a Mumbai-based MNC mining company, that has found itself in controversial avenues in the past, including the Tuticorin protest in Tamil Nadu, against its plants. The company donated an amount of Rs 400 crore. One of the Vedanta's subsidiaries, Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd came under the radar of the Enforcement directorate, as it was accused of money laundering. Vedanta's shares were trading at Rs 257.45 per share, at a decline of 1.04 per cent (12:23 IST).

Then comes another name from the energy industry, Haldia Energy Limited, owned by RP Sanjiv Goenka Group. The company, as according to the records has donated Rs 375 crore. The company owns a thermal power plant in West Bengal, a state ruled by the TMC, which has the second highest donations after BJP. The parent group also owns on IPL team, which was established in 2021.

Essel Mining and Industries Ltd is another known, unknown names, that is owned by bigger conglomerate, with major sway in the market. Aditya Birla group owned, donated Rs 224.5 crore. Interestingly, the Kumaramangalam Birla company, which runs the loss-making Vodafone-Idea, managed to sell nearly 32 per cent stake in the telecom company to the Union government.

Western UP Power Transmission Ltd is another not highly renowned name, that has made it to the list. According to the records, the company donated Rs 220 crore through the electoral bonds. This is another instance, wherein there is no official company source disseminating information regarding the company. Nevertheless, the company is partly owned by the second highest donor, Megha Engineering. The Kanpur-registered company, was incorporated in 2009, and is based out of Ghaziabad.

Keventer Food Park Infra, another unlisted company donated Rs 195 crore. The Kolkata based company is renowned for its dairy, fresh, and packaged food products. Apart from being outside the purview of greater regulations, the company again, like in the case of Qwik Supply does not have a website of its own, disclosing any relevant information about the company's functioning.

MKJ Enterprises Ltd, which holds 2 stocks with a net worth of over Rs 237.5 crore willfully donated an amount of Rs 180 crore. The company although stations a website, with its name in the domain, it does not appear to have the functionality of a 'website'. The company came into being in 1982, and is based out of Kolkata. The company and its directors have understandings with the aforementioned Keventer Food Infra Park.

Madanlal Ltd, another wing of the above mentioned MKJ enterprise, donated an amount Rs 185.5 crore.

The data revealed, does not link the amount to any donor or the donated amount to a political party yet. But the origin of the companies and their activities in the recent past could indicate, if not establish, who the donors, who gained are.

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