The News Minute
Anna Isaac

TNM takes a look at which parties benefited from the electoral bond scheme since it came into effect in March 2018.

With the Supreme Court striking down the electoral bond scheme on Thursday, February 15, TNM takes a look at which parties benefited from the scheme. A total of Rs 12,008 crore electoral bonds were sold in 25 phases between March 2018 and March 2023, according to figures compiled by TNM from RTIs obtained by activist Commodore Lokesh Batra. 

Between April 2023 and January 2024, there were five more phases, with Rs 4509 crore worth of electoral bonds sold. However, how much each party received during this period is yet to be declared

The ruling BJP has garnered the highest amount between 2017 and March 2023, receiving a staggering Rs 6570 crore or 54% of the total electoral bonds sold. The Congress party received a total of Rs 1123 crore or 9% of the total electoral bonds sold. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress was close behind, having garnered Rs 1092 crore.

Among the regional parties, the TRS received Rs 912 crore between 2017-18 and 2022-23. Significantly, K Chandrasekar Rao’s BRS received over 50% of the donations via electoral bonds in the financial year 2022-2023, months before Telangana witnessed the Assembly elections. Incidentally, TRS, which was in power in the state for two consecutive terms, lost to the Congress in the December 2023 elections. 

Naveen Patnaik’s BJD garnered Rs 774 crore, while the DMK received Rs 616 crore, YSRCP Rs 381 crore, TDP 146 crore, AAP 84 crore via electoral bonds.

The party-wise figures were compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which was one among four petitioners who challenged the scheme.

It is also worth noting that Communist Party of India (Marxist) was the only mainstream political party to have consciously refused electoral bonds.

In its judgment on February 15, the Supreme Court has also ordered the State Bank of India (SBI), the issuer of electoral bonds, to publish donation details by March 13. All electoral bonds that have not been encashed should also be returned, ruled the top court.

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