BJP’s top donors: Megha, Reliance-linked firms, Keventer, Birla, Bharti, Vedanta

BJP’s top donors: Megha, Reliance-linked firms, Keventer, Birla, Bharti, Vedanta

Large corporate groups feature on top of the BJP’s list of electoral bond donors.

At Rs 664 crore, the Hyderabad-based Megha group of companies was the biggest donor to the Bharatiya Janata Party between April 2019 and January 2024, fresh data released by the Election Commission has revealed.

The infrastructure group was followed by firms and individuals linked to the Mukesh-Ambani led Reliance Group at Rs 545 crore.

The Keventers group took the third spot, with nearly Rs 352 crore to the saffron party in electoral bonds. It is followed by the Aditya Birla group at Rs 285 crore and the Bharti Airtel group at Rs 236.4 crore. 

At nearly Rs 2,082 crore, these donors contributed more than a third of the Rs 6,060 crore worth bonds redeemed by the BJP between April 2019 and January 2024, the period for which data is available.

Altogether, the party received Rs 8,252 crore in electoral bonds since March 2018. Data is not available for bonds worth over Rs 4,000 crore worth of bonds redeemed between March 1, 2018 and April 12, 2019.

Megha group

Of the Rs 664 crore that the Megha group donated to the BJP, Rs 584 crore came from Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited. Its subsidiary, Ghaziabad-based Western UP Power Transmission Company, gave another Rs 80 crore to the ruling party.

In total, the group donated Rs 1,186 crore in electoral bonds. The BJP received 56% of its donations.

Reliance-linked firms

Firms linked to the Reliance Group were the second largest donor to the BJP at Rs 545 crore. About 69% of it came from Mumbai-based Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, which donated Rs 375 crore to the party.

The remaining Rs 170 crore came from firms linked to Surendra Lunia, Ambani’s business associate, Reliance executives like Laxmidas Merchant and K Ramachandran Raja, and firms linked to Satyanarayanamurthy Veera Venkata Korlep, who sits on the boards of a host of firms linked to the group.

The BJP received nearly 94% of all donations made by these firms through electoral bonds.

Keventers group

The Keventers group donated Rs 351.92 crore to the BJP. It did this through four firms: Keventer Foodpark Infra Limited (now known as Magnificent Foodparks Project Limited), MKJ Enterprises, Madanlal Limited and Sasmal Infrastructure Limited.

Of these, Madanlal Limited took the largest chunk – Rs 175 crore.

The group’s donations to BJP are 57% of the total Rs 616.92 crore it donated to political parties between April 2019 and January 2024.

Aditya Birla group

The Aditya Birla group put Rs 285 crore in BJP pockets, becoming its fourth-biggest donor. It did this through five subsidiaries – Grasim Industries Limited, ABNL Investment Limited, Birla Carbon India Private Limited, Utkal Alumina International Private Limited and Essel Mining & Industries Limited.

The BJP cornered 51% of the group’s total donations in electoral bonds, which stood at Rs 555.8 crore.

Bharti Airtel group

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel group donated Rs 236.4 crore to the BJP through four firms – Bharti Airtel Limited, Bharti Airtel Current AC GCO, Bharti Infratel and Bharti Telemedia.

The biggest share came from Bharti Airtel Limited, which gave Rs 183 crore.

The Bharti Airtel group gave Rs 247 crore in electoral bond donations. The BJP took home nearly 96% of it.

Vedanta

Metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta donated Rs 230.15 to the BJP. This was nearly 57% of its total electoral bond donations, which stood at Rs 400.65 crore.

This report is part of a collaborative project involving three news organisations – Newslaundry, Scroll, The News Minute – and several 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 George, M Rajshekhar, Maria Teresa Raju, Nandini Chandrashekhar, 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, Siddhartha Mishra, Sumedha Mittal, Supriya Sharma, Sudipto Mondal, Tabassum Barnagarwala and Vaishnavi Rathore.

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