The Indian Express

Unlike 2009-11 when big corporates figured on the list of BJP’s donors, for 2011-12, a caramel manufacturer, a vitrified tile-maker and a host of infrastructure firms and real-estate developers were among the little-known firms from Gujarat who contributed to the party’s fund. On the other hand, for the Congress the largest donor was its own district committee of Kutch.

Data of political donation, released by the Association for Democratic Reforms, revealed that about 50 small firms from Rajkot, Morbi and Ahmedabad donated to the BJP’s coffers in 2011-12. In 2009-11, big corporates like Torrent Power, Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Cadila Pharmaceuticals funded the two major political parties.

The biggest contributor to Gujarat Pradesh Congress Party was Kutch District Congress Committee that gave Rs 24.74 lakh.

Congress’s lone corporate donor was Ahmedabad-based Bodal Chemicals that donated Rs 7 lakh.

The biggest contributor to the BJP’s kitty was Gandhinagar-based Akash Infra Projects Pvt Ltd, which is also an approved contractor in state government’s various road projects. Akash Infra contributed Rs 25 lakh to the party.

Ahmedabad-based caramel manufacturer, Sayaji Sethness, a 50:50 joint venture between US-based Sethness Products Company and India’s Maize Products, donated Rs 10 lakh to the BJP.

Another contributor was Morbi-based vitrified tile manufacture Antique Marbonite Pvt Ltd, which contributed Rs 11 lakh to the BJP’s fund.

Among the real-estate developers, Ahmedabad-based Goyal & Co Pvt Ltd and Dev Procon Ltd contributed total Rs 22 lakh to the party’s kitty. Saumya Constructions gave Rs 3 lakh, Siddhi Developers and Builders Rs 1.5 lakh, Manav Nesvi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd gave 2.5 lakh.

Asked why big corporates were missing from the list of donors, Prof Jagdeep S Chhokar, founder and trustee of ADR, said, “We cannot say why certain names are missing.” He added that the data was sourced using the RTI.

Another significant contributor to the BJP kitty was Ahmedabad-based PC Snehal Construction Company, involved in projects like BRTS, and with clientele that included state government agencies; it gave Rs 10 lakh to the party.

Backbone Enterprise from Rajkot, which worked on various irrigation projects of the Gujarat government, gave Rs 5 lakh to the BJP.

Ahmedabad-based communication agency Praveg Communications that managed events like Kite Festival, Rann Utsav, Khel Mahakumbh, Saputara Monsoon Festival and Krishi Mahotsav contributed Rs 1 lakh to party funds.

Similarly, Ahmedabad-based Apco Motors, part of Dholakiya Group that sold 200 CNG buses to Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service, contributed Rs 90,000. NGO Ahmedabad Green Belt Khedut Mandal gave Rs 5 lakh to the BJP.

“In the past, corporates in Gujarat used to donate to both the major political parties. Now, Chief Minister Narendra Modi has become the poster boy for all corporates. Modi has been going out of his way to dole out favours to corporates at the cost of common man,” said Arjun Modhwadia, president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee while reacting to the lack of corporate fund from Gujarat to the Congress’s coffers.

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