BJP Received Rs 6,986 Cr;

The Election Commission Sunday made the fresh data on electoral bonds public which revealed that the ruling BJP received a whopping Rs 6,986 Crore in funds, while Future Gaming and Hotel Services, owned by “lottery king” Santiago Martin emerged as the biggest purchasers of the now-scrapped funding method.

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Electoral Bonds Data: BJP Received Rs 6,986 Cr; 'Lottery King' Biggest Purchaser
The Election Commission on Sunday made the fresh data on electoral bonds public.

Electoral Bonds: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received the lion’s share of funds– a whopping Rs 6,986.5 crore– while, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), surprisingly, emerged as one of the top beneficiaries, raking in Rs 509 crore in the now-scrapped electoral bonds from Future Gaming and Hotel Services, the fresh set of data released by the Election Commission revealed on Sunday.

BJP gets lion’s share, TMC next on list

As per the data released by the poll panel, the BJP, unsurprisingly, emerged as the top beneficiary of electoral bonds, receiving Rs 6,986.5 crore in funds, since the controversial method of political donations was introduced in 2018.

Next on the list is West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress (Rs 1,397 crore), followed by the Congress (Rs 1,334 crore), and Telangana’s Bharath Rashtra Samithi (BRS) at Rs 1,322 crore.

The fourth largest recipient of the bonds was Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The Odisha’s ruling party received Rs Rs 944.5 crore in funds, followed by DMK at Rs 656.5 crore and Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party YSR Congress redeemed bonds worth nearly Rs 442.8 crore.

The JD(S) received bonds worth Rs 89.75 crore, including Rs 50 crore from Megha Engineering, the second largest purchaser of electoral bonds.

‘Lottery King’ top purchaser of EBs

Interestingly, Future Gaming and Hotel Services, owned by the infamous “lottery king” Santiago Martin, was the biggest purchaser of electoral bonds at Rs 1,368 crore, of which nearly 37 percent went to the DMK.

Other major donors of the DMK included Megha Engineering Rs 105 crore, India Cements Rs 14 crore and Sun TV Rs 100 crore.

The DMK was among the few political parties to disclose the identity of the donors, while major parties such as the BJP, Congress, TMC and AAP did not disclose these details to the Election Commission, which has now made public those filing as per a Supreme Court order.

Other recipients of the electoral bonds were; the TDP who edeemed bonds worth Rs 181.35 crore, Shiv Sena Rs 60.4 crore, RJD 56 crore, Samajwadi Party got Rs 14.05 crore via electoral bonds, Akali Dal Rs 7.26 crore, AIADMK Rs 6.05 crore, National Conference Rs 50 lakh.

The CPI(M) has declared that it will not receive funds through electoral bonds, while filings made by the AIMIM and BSP showed nil receipts.

EC makes fresh electoral bonds data public

Earlier today, the Election Commission made the fresh data on electoral bonds public. The data was previously submitted to the Supreme Court in sealed covers, following a directive from the apex court to make it available to the public.

“The Election Commission of India has today uploaded the data received in digitized form from the registry of the Supreme Court on electoral bonds on its website,” the poll panel said in a statement.

The EC had submitted it in the sealed covers to the Supreme Court and was later asked to put them in the public domain.

Notably, this information pertains to transactions that occurred before April 12, 2019, while details of electoral bonds issued after this date were disclosed by the election commission last week.

(With inputs from agencies)

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