MK Stalin labels electoral bonds ‘BJP’s white-collar corruption,’ yet corruption finds shelter in DMK’s ‘hefty’ fund

Electoral bonds data 2nd list: MK Stalin calls BJP's use of electoral bonds 'white-collar corruption', even while DMK received 656.5 crore through these bonds. Supreme Court recently struck down this scheme, which allowed for anonymous funding to political parties

Livemint
First Published18 Mar 2024, 10:34 AM IST
Electoral bonds data 2nd list: Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin. (ANI)
Electoral bonds data 2nd list: Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)

Electoral bonds data 2nd list: In a remark directed at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and referencing the second list of data on electoral bonds released by the Election Commission, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin criticised the electoral bonds. He described them as “white-collar corruption” of the ruling BJP.

Also Read: Electoral Bonds data 2nd list LIVE

“This is fear. PM Modi has started defaming us as corrupt, but electoral bonds proved that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is corrupt. It’s white-collar corruption of the BJP,” said Stalin while addressing a public gathering at the INDIA group’s rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on Sunday.

However, it appears that white-collar corruption was not “exclusive” to the BJP alone.

The Election Commission’s data, obtained from political parties and submitted to the Supreme Court in sealed envelopes regarding electoral bonds, revealed that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) received 656.5 crore through electoral bonds. Future Gaming and Hotel Services, the primary purchaser of these bonds, donated 509 crore to the DMK, the governing party in Tamil Nadu.

Also Read: Electoral Bonds data 2nd list: Check party wise list of who received how much

Future Gaming, which purchased electoral bonds amounting to 1,368 crore, allocated 37 per cent of this sum to Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin’s party. Other major donors of the MK Stalin-led DMK included Megha Engineering, which contributed 105 crore; India Cements, which contributed 14 crore; and Sun TV, which contributed 100 crore.

Meanwhile, Edappadi K Palaniswami, the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and AIADMK general secretary, referenced the DMK government's legislation regarding online gaming, NDTV reported. “The state government enacted a namesake, weak law banning online gambling and shamefully received cash from a gambling company that pledges people's lives,” Palaniswami said.

Refuting the accusations, DMK MP TR Baalu stated that the MK Stalin-led government implemented the law against online gaming after a prolonged effort, emphasizing that no special treatment was given to the gaming company. “It was the Governor who delayed assent to the law, and the government got it re-enacted. It was the Governor who met owners of online gaming companies,” he added.

According to the data, the ruling BJP at the Centre received the maximum funds through these bonds at 6,986.5 crore since they were introduced in 2018, followed by West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress ( 1,397 crore), Congress ( 1,334 crore) and Bharat Rashtra Samithi ( 1,322 crore), according to the latest data shared by the EC.

Also Read: Nitin Gadkari backs electoral bond scheme, says ‘contesting elections requires money’

Additionally, the JD(S) received bonds amounting to 89.75 crore, which includes a contribution of 50 crore from Megha Engineering, the second-largest purchaser of electoral bonds.

In February, the Supreme Court, in a ruling, struck down the Centre’s Electoral Bond Scheme, which allowed for anonymous funding to political parties, and ordered the SBI to stop issuing Electoral Bonds immediately.

‘Sealed cover’ data of electoral bonds for the period March 2018 - April 2019 made public by ECI doesn’t include the names of the donors (barring a few parties who disclosed the names voluntarily).

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:18 Mar 2024, 10:34 AM IST
HomePoliticsNewsMK Stalin labels electoral bonds ‘BJP’s white-collar corruption,’ yet corruption finds shelter in DMK’s ‘hefty’ fund

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