Part 2: 30 firms who donated Rs 335 cr to BJP were also stung by I-T, ED

EC records, financial statements and agency action point to a pattern. An exclusive investigation.

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Read Part 1 here.

➨ At least 30 companies, which donated a total of nearly Rs 335 crore to the BJP between financial years 2018-19 and 2022-23, also faced action by central agencies during that period.

➨ Of these firms, 23 companies, which gave a total of Rs 187.58 crore to the party during this period, had never donated any amount to the BJP between 2014 and the year of the raid. 

➨ At least four of these companies donated a total of Rs 9.05 crore within four months of the central agency visit. 

➨ At least six of these firms, which were already donors to the party, handed out a heftier amount in the months following the searches. 

➨ Six other firms, which had donated to the BJP each year before, faced central action after they skipped donations in one financial year. 

➨ At least three BJP donors, who are not part of the list of 30, had been accused of receiving undue favours from the Union government.

➨ Only three of these 32 companies donated to the Congress during the same period.

These are some of the findings of Newslaundry and The News Minute’s analysis of Election Commission records, case files, and financial statements between the financial years 2018-19 and 2022-23. In some cases, donations were made during or after raids were conducted on the company and in some others, the companies that donated the money received licences or clearances. 

However, in some cases, the agency action continued despite the donations.  

The episodes mentioned in this report only point to a pattern between raids or surveys by central agencies and donations to the BJP. Accusations of political funding being no less than extortion have found their way to news headlines in the past.

It’s significant considering there is a surge in action by central agencies such as the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and the Income Tax (I-T) Department against opposition leaders and their supporters. There are already concerns that the electoral bonds scheme, announced in 2018 by the Narendra Modi government, brought in an opaque system. The Supreme Court, which struck down the electoral bonds scheme on February 15, also warned that it could have led to quid pro quo arrangements.

But it’s not just political donations and electoral bonds – the BJP has received the highest amounts through electoral trusts too. The BJP cornered over 70 percent of the total donations by electoral trusts in 2022-23, according to data shared by the Election Commission.

So, who were the 30 companies who donated to the BJP directly between 2018-19 and 2022-23? Where were they based? What were they accused of? 

Let’s take a look.

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