Kitex group purchased bonds worth Rs 25 crore after launching key projects in Telangana

In 2021, alleging constant interventions and harassment by the state government, Sabu Jacob had announced that he was shifting his 3,500 crore project from Kerala to Telangana.
Sabu Jacob, Kitex group MD
Sabu Jacob, Kitex group MD

Kerala-based textiles major Kitex group has purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 25 crore. The company made contributions through two of its entities, KITEX CHILDRENSWEAR LTD and KITEX GARMENTS LIMITED, worth Rs 9 crore and Rs 16 crores respectively.

Kitex Group, led by Managing Director Sabu M Jacob, has been embroiled in a tussle with the Kerala Government over the past few years. In 2021, alleging constant interventions and harassment by the state government, Sabu Jacob had announced that he was shifting his 3,500 crore project from Kerala to Telangana. The project aimed to establish manufacturing clusters in Kakatiya Mega Textiles Park (KMTP), Warangal, and Seetharampur, Hyderabad.

The two transactions which were made on July 5, 2023 and October 12 of the same year, raises questions with regard to the nature of involvement of corporates in political funding, especially considering the timings of the donations – right before Telangana assembly elections, which  was held in November 2023.

Kitex made Rs 15 crore donations when its first project was almost nearing completion. On June 27, just a week before the first batch of bonds were purchased, the then Telangana Industries Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted in , “Kakatiya Mega Textile Park, Warangal spread over 1,350 acres is the largest textile park in India. The Kitex units are gearing up for inauguration by CM KCR in a couple of months.” However, the inauguration was prolonged.

Meanwhile the group’s second project was also almost ready in Seetharampur in Telangana's Rangareddy district.Then on September 29, 13 days before the second batch of bonds were bought, KTR broke the ground for the second factory in Ranga Reddy.  In September Sabu M Jacob told media that the factory will be the longest manufacturing unit in the world which is 1.2 km each in the 250-acre Seetharampur campus. The two units Warangal and Sitarampur Hyderabad were intended to produce a massive 22 lakh garments per day. The second unit was also planned to be inaugurated in March 2024, which did not happen yet. The second donations were given on October 12, 2023.

It is noteworthy that the Telangana Assembly elections followed the next month, that is, on November 30, 2023.

However both projects have apparently faced some delay.

Apart from Kitex's electoral bond contributions, other Kerala-based companies like Muthoot Finance Limited, Lulu India Shopping Pvt Ltd, and Geojit Investment Services Ltd,  have also contributed.Muthoot Finance limited bought the bonds for Rs 3 crore, Lulu India Shopping Pvt Ltd for Rs 2 crore and Geojit Investment Services Ltd for Rs 10 lakhs. Lulu purchased the bond a few months before its mall in Lucknow was inaugurated. 

TNM had made several attempts to reach out to Kitex group regarding this but there was no response from their side. 

This report is part of a collaborative project involving three news organisations – Newslaundry, Scroll, The News Minute – and independent journalists.

Project Electoral Bond includes Aban Usmani, Anand Mangnale, Anisha Sheth, Anjana Meenakshi, Ayush Tiwari, Azeefa Fathima, Basant Kumar, Dhanya Rajendran, Jayashree Arunachalam, Joyal, M Rajshekhar, Maria Teresa Raju, Nandini Chandrashekar, Neel Madhav, Nikita Saxena, Parth MN, Pooja Prasanna, Prajwal Bhat, Prateek Goyal, Pratyush Deep, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Raman Kirpal, Ravi Nair, Sachi Hegde, Shabbir Ahmed, Shivnarayan Rajpurohit, Siddharth Mishra, Supriya Sharma, Tabassum Barnagarwala and Vaishnavi Rathore.

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