The Election Commission of India (ECI) has released additional details about electoral bonds for the period before April 12, 2019. The data includes the amount redeemed by parties and related bank account information. The latest data released by the EC comes after last week when the apex poll body came out with electoral bonds details between April 2019 and February 2024 as per the data provided by the State Bank of India.

"Political parties had filed data on Electoral Bonds in a sealed cover as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s interim order dated April 12, 2019, in the said WP NO.880 of 2017. Data received from political parties was deposited in the Hon’ble Supreme Court without opening sealed covers. In pursuance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order dated March 15, 2024, the Registry of the Supreme Court has returned physical copies along with a digitised record of the same in a pen drive in a sealed cover," the Election Commission of India (ECI) says.

Key details from new data show the BJP received electoral bonds totalling ₹6,986.5 crore, a maximum of ₹2,555 crore of which was encashed in FY20. The second-biggest receiver of electoral bonds was Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which collected ₹1,397 crore. The Congress party, third among top electoral bonds receivers, encashed electoral bonds worth ₹1,334.35 crore. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi was the fourth largest receiver at ₹1,322 crore. BJD received electoral bonds worth ₹944.5 crore. DMK followed the top five parties with electoral bonds worth ₹656.5 crore, a major chunk (83%) of which came from Santiago Martin's Future Gaming. Other major electoral bond receiver parties are YSR Congress (₹442.8 crore); TDP (₹181.35 crore); Shiv Sena (₹60.4 crore); SP (₹14.05 crore); Akali Dal (₹7.26 crore); RJD (₹56 crore); and JD(S) ₹89.75 crore.

The Supreme Court on March 15, 2023, had directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to share unique alpha-numeric numbers on electoral bonds. "In our judgment, we had directed disclosures specifically on all details of the electoral bonds including the purchaser, the amount, and the date of purchase. They have not disclosed the bond numbers because that has to be disclosed by the State Bank of India," SC remarked. The SC pulled up SBI for seeking more time to disclose the information on electoral bonds, warning that it may be inclined to proceed against India's largest lender for "wilful disobedience".

The EC had earlier disclosed a list of purchasers of electoral bonds between April 2019 and February 2024. As per the data disclosed by SBI, the top 10 entities bought electoral bonds worth ₹4,200 crore. Amongst this, Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR purchased the highest number of electoral bonds for ₹1,368 crore. The Tamil Nadu-based company was founded in 1991 by Santiago Martin, also known as the "Lottery King" of India.

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