Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Airtel, Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta, ITC, Mahindra and Mahindra, and a lesser-known entity called Future Gaming and Hotel Services are on the list of purchasers of electoral bonds, according to the Election Commission (EC) data made public on Thursday evening.

Future Gaming was probed by the Enforcement Directorate recently. It bought electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,368 crore under two different sets of companies.

Most prominent parties have been beneficiaries of the scheme. They include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Shiv Sena, YSR Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, National Conference, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Sikkim Democratic Front, and Jana Sena Party.

State Bank of India (SBI) shared the data with the EC on March 12 after a Supreme Court directive, which gave the EC time till 5 pm on March 15 to upload the information on its website.

The EC posted the details on “Disclosure of Electoral Bonds submitted by SBI” in two parts — the details of the purchasers of the bonds and the details of the political parties that encashed them. The details pertain to the period April 12, 2019, to January 11, 2024. Vedanta bought bonds worth Rs 398 crore. Lakshmi Mittal bought bonds of Rs 35 crore in his individual capacity. Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering bought them for Rs 966 crore.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, SBI said 22,217 electoral bonds of varying denominations were purchased by donors between April 1, 2019, and February 15 this year. Of those 22,030 were redeemed by political parties.

According to the data, other purchasers of electoral bonds include InterGlobe, Grasim Industries, Piramal Enterprises, Torrent Power, DLF Commercial Developers, Apollo Tyres, Edelweiss, PVR, Keventer Foodpark Infra, Sula Wine, Welspun, and 

Some others are Aurobindo Pharma, Cipla, Zydus Healthcare, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Mankind Pharma, Alembic, Maruti Suzuki, Muthoot Finance, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, Ambuja, Haldia Energy, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, MRF, SpiceJet, Jindal Steel and Power, India Cements, and Lupin.


Other prominent purchasers who bought bonds in their individual capacity are Rahul Bhatia and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. While it posted the data on its website, the EC also moved the court to seek modification /clarification of its March 11 order. The case will be heard on Friday.

Between March 2018 and January 2024, electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518.10 crore were purchased, according to RTI (right to information) responses from SBI.

The top five recipients of electoral bonds — worth Rs 11,986.66 crore purchased between FY18 and FY23 — were the BJP (54.77 per cent), Congress (9.11 per cent), Trinamool Congress (9.11 per cent), BRS (7.61 per cent), BJD (6.45 per cent), and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (5.14 per cent).

In its judgment on February 15, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had scrapped the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme, terming it “unconstitutional”. It had ordered the EC to make public the donors, the amounts donated, and the recipients.

First Published: Mar 15 2024 | 12:55 AM IST

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