‘Unnamed Electoral Bonds Dropped At Office, Anonymously Mailed’, Political Parties Claim

Several political parties claimed that electoral bonds were either anonymously mailed or simply dropped at their office drop box without a name.

Published: March 18, 2024 4:32 PM IST

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'Unnamed Electoral Bonds Dropped At Office, Anonymously Mailed', Political Parties Claim

Electoral Bonds: Several political parties declined to share details of electoral bond donors citing various legal provisions, while others said they received the funding instruments through “drop box” or by post without any name.

The DMK, which received most of its donations from a lottery firm, reached out to its donors to seek details of the electoral bonds as demanded by the Supreme Court in 2019.

The BJP cited the amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1951 and the relevant portions of the Reserve Bank of India Act and the Income Tax Act for not revealing its donors.

“It is duly submitted that the electoral bonds were introduced with the aim of bringing only accounted for funds in political funding while protecting the donors from any consequences, therefrom,” the BJP said in its letter to the Election Commission.

The Congress shot off a letter to the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking details of donors of electoral bonds, the amount, the bank account in which it was credited and the date.

The SBI responded to the Congress that the details of the electoral bonds were available with the political parties and shared the statement of the bank account which was shared with the Commission.

The Samajwadi Party shared details of bonds of relatively smaller amounts of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, but merely mentioned that 10 bonds of Rs 1 crore each were received by post without any name.

The DMK, which received almost 77 per cent of its funds from lottery king Santiago Martin’s Future Gaming, said it had reached out to the donors of the party to get details of the donations they had made.

“The scheme also does not require the details of the donor to be furnished to the donee. … Be that as it may, following the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court, we contacted our donors and we were able to collect the details from them,” the DMK said.

The Telugu Desam Party mentioned “not readily available” in the column for listing out the names of donors.

The Trinamool Congress said the electoral bonds were sent to the party office and were “dropped in the drop box”. The party said some bonds were sent through messengers from various persons who wished to support the party, many of whom prefer to remain anonymous.

The NCP, then led by Sharad Pawar, expressed inability to furnish details of donors against each bond as the party had not maintained details or issued any receipts.

The letter by the NCP to the Election Commission said several of its office-bearers were busy with the election campaign. “Wherever possible we have indicated the name of the person through whom bonds were received by the party,” the NCP said.

The Goa unit of the Congress reached out to its donor V M Salgaonkar and Brothers to get details of the electoral bonds worth Rs 30 lakh given by them to the party.

The RJD said the details about donations worth Rs 1.5 crore were not readily available.

The Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) has told the Election Commission that someone delivered to its office an envelope with electoral bonds worth Rs 10 crore in 2019, which were redeemed by the party.

(Only the headline has been reworked by staff. Copy comes from an agency feed)

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