After Central agencies tightened noose in 2018, BJP’s coffers swelled with corporate donations: Report

BJP flag. File photo: AFP

New Delhi: Thirty companies that had donated Rs 335 crore to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation via electoral trusts since 2018 were being investigated by central agencies during the same period, an investigation report revealed.

The investigation was carried out by The News Minute and News Laundry portals. Of these companies, 23 had not given money to the BJP from 2014, when the first Modi government came into power, till 2018 when the central agencies’ radar fell on them.

After the scrutiny by the central agencies started in 2018, four companies gave as much as Rs 9.05 crore to the BJP as donations. Six companies which had earlier also donated to the BJP’s coffers increased the donation amounts substantially after the agencies tightened the noose around them.

Of the companies that donated to the BJP, only three have donated to the Congress also. The Congress had accused the BJP of squeezing money from corporates by unleashing the central agencies on them.

A case sighted in the investigation report is about donations by Som Distillery of Madhya Pradesh and the various probes conducted on the company by central agencies.

After the founders failed to remit Goods and Services Tax in a year, they were arrested the next year. After they were released from jail, within ten days they donated Rs 1 crore to the BJP. The same year they gave another Rs 1 crore to the BJP as a donation.

The amount the Congress received as donations from electoral trusts between 2013-2023 is much lower than the donations BJP received in the year 2022-23 alone– Rs 257 crore.

In 10 years, when the BJP raked in Rs 1,893 crore corporate donations, Congress totalled just Rs 221 crore.

In a landmark judgment in February, the Supreme Court struck down the electoral bond scheme, citing it violated the voters’ right to information enshrined in the Constitution.

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