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Electoral Bonds: Future Gaming Donated over Rs 500 Crore Each to TMC And DMK Out of Total Rs 1,368 Crore Contribution

The firm also donated Rs 100 crore to the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and another Rs 50 crore to the Congress. Representational image

The firm also donated Rs 100 crore to the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and another Rs 50 crore to the Congress. Representational image

The company also donated Rs 160 crore to Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), the Election Commission of India data analysed by News18 shows

Future Gaming and Hotel Services, which emerged as the largest donor in the now-outlawed electoral bond scheme with Rs 1,368 crore, has donated more than Rs 500 crore each to the Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. While West Bengal’s ruling TMC got Rs 542 crore from the firm, the DMK, which is in power in Tamil Nadu, received Rs 509 crore.

The company also donated Rs 160 crore to Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), the Election Commission of India data analysed by News18 shows. The three parties got nearly 90% of the firm’s total donations.

The firm donated Rs 100 crore to the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and another Rs 50 crore to the Congress.

In January 2024, just before the ban on the electoral bond scheme, the Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR purchased 63 bonds worth Rs 63 crore. All, except three bonds, were encashed by the TMC for Rs 60 crore. The Sikkim Democratic Front got the remaining bonds worth Rs three crore.

In total, between January 3 and January 11, the last window for the sale of electoral bonds before it got banned by the Supreme Court, bonds worth Rs 571 crore were purchased. The Future Group was the biggest buyer followed by Bharti Airtel at Rs 50 crore with 50 bonds, as per the data from the Election Commission of India that has been made public.

News18 reported earlier this week about the details of the donations made to the DMK and AIADMK. Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd has donated Rs 509 crore to the DMK between 2020-21 and 2022-23 (up to November). The company donated Rs 249 crore alone in 2021-22, followed by Rs 160 crore in 2022-23. It is worth mentioning that Tamil Nadu went for assembly polls in April 2021. The results were declared in May 2021 and, the same month, the DMK came to power with MK Stalin taking charge as chief minister.

In 2020-21, the firm made its first donation to the party through electoral bonds — Rs 60 crore. The DMK’s documents also reveal that the party got Rs 40 crore from the firm between April 1, 2023, and November 2023.

The donations given by Future Gaming, whose owner, “lottery king” Santiago Martin, has been under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), is nearly 35% of the TMC’s total donation through electoral bonds over the years. For the DMK, the share is around 77%.

On Thursday, the Election Commission of India released a fresh set of data related to the now-banned scheme with the respective bond numbers that revealed the details of who donated how much to which party.

Megha Engineering BJP’s biggest donor

The second biggest donor in the list of firms – Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd with Rs 966 crore – has donated Rs 519 crore to the BJP, around 55% of its total donations.

The firm’s donation in the BJP’s total earnings from bonds stood at just about nine per cent. The party, over the last few years, got Rs 6,060 crore from electoral bonds.

Supreme Court’s directions

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down the scheme saying anonymous electoral bonds violated citizens’ right to information.

The court had asked the State Bank of India to share the data with the ECI and directed the poll body to publish these details on its website by March 15. On March 14, the Election Commission shared two sets of data – the bonds purchased by the individuals and the list of political parties that redeemed these bonds in their accounts.

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