Electoral Bonds
Electoral BondsGraphic- Rajan Chaudhary, The Mooknayak

41 companies donated to BJP and faced central action. 18 of them bought electoral bonds of Rs 2,010 crore

Earlier installments of our investigation found a pattern between the 41 companies and central agency action.

In February, Newslaundry and The News Minute reported on 30 companies that donated Rs 355 crore to the BJP after being subjected to central agency action. Three days ago, we found 11 more companies that fit into that ostensible pattern, donating Rs 62.3 crore to the party in power.

Eighteen of these have now featured on the list of electoral bond purchasers released by the Election Commission last night. These 18 bought bonds to the tune of nearly Rs 2,010.5 crore – five times the donations made through other methods by the 41 companies we reported on earlier.

Here are the details.

Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR

This Tamil Nadu-based lottery company is headed by self-proclaimed lottery king Santiago Martin, who has multiple criminal cases against him. 

Newslaundry and The News Minute previously reported that after the Income Tax department searched its premises in May 2019, the company became the biggest donor to Prudent Electoral Trust – donating Rs 100 crore in 2020-21. Prudent received Rs 245.72 crore in 2020-21 from 19 companies, of which Rs 209 crore went to the BJP. 

Now, based on the data that came out last night, we know that from October 21, 2020 to January 9, 2024, Future Gaming bought electoral bonds worth Rs 1,368 crore, seemingly the top purchaser in India.

Yashoda Hospitals

Hyderabad-based Yashoda group of hospitals bought electoral bonds worth Rs 162 crore from October 4, 2021 to October 11, 2023. It’s owned by Rao brothers Ravender, Surender and Davender. We previously reported that they were searched in December 2020 and subsequently donated to the BJP.

IRB Infrastructure Developers

IRB is a Mumbai-based infrastructure company headed by Virendra Mhaiskar.

In 2015, the CBI raided its premises in Pune and Mumbai after a complaint of land grabbing, forgery and cheating. From 2014 to 2023, the company and its two subsidiaries, Modern Road Makers and Ideal Road Builders, donated Rs 84 crore to the BJP.

According to last night’s data, three subsidiaries of IRB – Modern Road Makers, IRB MP Expressway and Ideal Road Builders – together purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 84 crore. Modern Road Makers bought Rs 84 crore of electoral bonds from April 16, 2019 to July 3, 2023. IRB MP Expressway purchased Rs 25 crore of electoral bonds on July 4, 2023. And Ideal Road Builders purchased Rs 6 crore of electoral bonds on October 4, 2023.

Som Distilleries

Madhya Pradesh-based Som Distilleries was among the quickest to donate to the BJP after a raid, as per our previous investigation, donating to the BJP 10 days after the release of its promoters.

Now we know the company bought electoral bonds of Rs 3 crore in 2023, Rs 1 crore on July 12, 2023 and Rs 2 crore on October 10, 2023.

Shree Cements

Kolkata-based Shree Cements, headed by Hari Mohan Bangur, bought electoral bonds of Rs 7.5crore – Rs 1.5 crore on May 8, 2019, Rs 4 crore on January 21, 2020, and Rs 2 crore on October 21, 2020. It should be noted that a separate entry for January 21, 2020 indicates bonds of Rs 40 lakh bought by “Bangur Shree”.

We previously reported that Shree Cements gave Rs 12 crore to the BJP in 2020-21 and 2021-22 while also facing central agency action.

Hetero Group

The Hyderabad-based Hetero group is a pharmaceutical firm run by B Partha Saradi Reddy, a Rajya Sabha member from the Bharat Rashtra Samithi and its richest MP. It figured on our first list of 30 firms that donated to the BJP while also being stung by central agencies.

The group’s three companies – Hetero Drugs, Hetero Labs and Hetero Biopharma – purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 60 crore from April 7, 2022 to October 12, 2023.

USV Private Ltd

The Mumbai-based healthcare company is run by Leena Gandhi Tewari, India’s second-richest woman. Twenty of its premises were raided by the Income Tax department in 2017. It donated Rs 9 crore to the BJP a month later.

According to last night’s data, USV Private Ltd also bought electoral bonds worth Rs 10 crore on November 15, 2022. 

Chennai Green Woods Private Ltd

Chennai Green Woods Private Ltd is a construction company owned by the Ramky Group, whose chairman is YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP Ayodhya Rami Reddy. Along with several central agency stings, it had donated Rs 1 crore to the BJP in 2022-23.

From January 5, 2022 to October 12, 2023, the company purchased electoral bonds of Rs 105 crore. 

Aurobindo Pharma

The Hyderabad-based pharma giant also owns Aurobindo Realty and Infrastructure Ltd. In November 2022, The Enforcement Directorate arrested Sarath Reddy, director of Aurobindo Pharma, for his alleged role in the Delhi liquor policy case.

Between April 3, 2021 and November 8, 2023, the company bought electoral bonds of Rs 52 crore.

SPML Om Metal JV

The company is owned by the Om Kothari group, which has business interests in hydropower, real estate, auto dealerships, hotels and entertainment centres. It was searched by tax officials in July 2020 and donated Rs 5 crore to the BJP in 2021-22. It also bought electoral bonds of Rs 5 crore on October 4, 2021.

Micro Labs

Micro Labs, which manufactures Dolo-650, is a Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical company run by brothers Dilip and Anand Surana. It bought electoral bonds of Rs 16 crore from October 10, 2022 to October 9, 2023. 

Previously, Newslaundry and The News Minute found that Micro Labs donated Rs 21 lakh to the BJP in 2015-16, Rs 9 crore in 2017-18, Rs 3 crore in 2018-19, Rs 50 lakh in 2019-2020, and Rs 2 crore in 2022-23. Forty of its locations were raided by tax sleuths in July 2022. 

Ramco Cements

The Ramco Group is a major cement manufacturing group based in Tamil Nadu. It’s often had run-ins with central agencies and we’d recorded a pattern of donations to the BJP too.

According to the new data, Ramco Cements bought electoral bonds worth Rs 54 crore from October 10, 2022 to November 15, 2023.

KJS Group

The Madhya Pradesh-based KJS cements, owned by Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, bought electoral bonds of Rs 14 crore from the period between April 20, 2019 and May 9, 2019. It also figured on our second list of companies that fit in our ‘pattern’.

Thriveni Earth Movers

Thriveni Earth Movers is a mine developer company headquartered in Salem and owned by B Prabhakaran. The company donated Rs 89.99 lakh to the BJP in 2014-15, Rs 20 lakh in 2016-17, and Rs 3 crore on July 6, 2017.

According to new data, Thriveni Earth Movers and its subsidiary company Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Ltd bought electoral bonds worth Rs 11 crore from April 9, 2021 to October 13, 2023.

Trident Ltd

The Punjab-based company is run by Padmashree awardee Rajender Gupta. It bought electoral bonds worth Rs 7 crore on October 5 and 6, 2023. The company had donated Rs 4.10 crore to BJP in the financial year 2021-22.

Capacite Infraprojects

The Mumbai-based infrastructure company headed by Rahul Katyal bought electoral bonds of Rs 7 crore from April 6 to April 12, 2023. 

We previously reported that Capacite’s premises were raided in August 2019 by the tax department. In October 2019, it donated Rs 5 crore to the BJP. In 2022-23, it donated Rs 1 crore to the party.

ILABS Technology Centre Pvt Ltd

The Hyderabad-based investment platform is run by Srinivasaraju Chintalapati, Krishna Prasad Tumuluri, Srinivas Tallapragada and Duddukuri Venkata Dhanumjaya Rao. It bought electoral bonds of Rs 5 crore on April 10, 2023.

It had also donated Rs 5 crore to the BJP in May 2019.

Alkem Laboratories

Alkem Laboratories is a major pharmaceutical company founded by Samprada Singh and BN Singh in 1973, setting up its first plant in Taloja near Navi Mumbai. It donated Rs 1 crore to the BJP in 2020-21 and Rs 25 lakh in 2022-23. In September 2023, its premises were searched by the tax department while in February this year, the company was accused of tax evasion and fraudulent transactions.

It also bought electoral bonds worth Rs 15 crore on November 14, 2022.

Note- This story has been republished without any changes. The above story was originally published on the Newslaundry website.
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