Company that calls itself ‘protagonist of Modi’s dream’ buys electoral bonds for BJP worth Rs 30 cr

APCO Infratech Private Ltd has won multiple contracts in UP and Maharashtra over the years.

Logo of APCO Infratech Private Ltd.

A company that says it’s “one of the protagonists of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of India becoming a $5 trillion economy” bought electoral bonds worth Rs 30 crore, according to data published by the Election Commission on March 14.

The company in question, APCO Infratech Private Limited, bought these bonds from January 15, 2020 to October 12, 2023. All the bonds were encashed by the BJP.

APCO, headquartered in Lucknow, is owned by one Anil Singh. It’s been awarded a plethora of projects spanning roadways, transport, irrigation and water sanitation.

Kashmir tunnel

In December 2019, when Jammu and Kashmir was still reeling from the aftermath of having been stripped off its special status and statehood, APCO secured a contract in the Kashmir valley to build a tunnel.

On December 19, 2019, APCO was issued a “letter of award” by the union territory administration to execute the construction of the 6.4 km-long Z-Morh tunnel in Ganderbal district. Coming up at a cost of Rs 2,716 crores, the tunnel will provide an all-weather road connectivity to the popular hill station Sonamarg and beyond. It also has strategic implications for India’s national security as it falls on the Srinagar-Leh national highway.

Less than four weeks after receiving the go-ahead for the project – on 15 January, 2020 – the firm purchased 10 electoral bonds worth Rs 1 crore each. The Bharatiya Janata Party encashed the bonds six days later.

Other projects

APCO’s other prestige projects include the Rs 1,500 crore Bundelkhand expressway project in Uttar Pradesh in November 2019 and the Rs 9,000 crore Versova-Bandra sea link project in Mumbai in 2022.

In 2021, APCO got a contract for the Bengaluru-Chennai expressway project and another for four-lane construction between Munger and Mirzachauki. In 2022, it won a contract for road construction on highways including through Chandauli-Sakaldiha-Saidpur, Mohansarai-Upadhyaya Nagar-Chakia, Junjwani to Sidhara, Faridabad-Ballabgarh bypass, Shyamali-Ambala expressway, and Naidupeta-Turpu Kanupur.

In 2020, APCO was given a contract to build over-bridges on Dr E Moses Road and Keshavrao Khade Marg in Mumbai. Last year, a Comptroller and Auditor General report said “undue favour” amounting to Rs 27.14 crore was given to all the contractors involved in the project.

In 2022, the UP government, under its State Water & Sanitation Mission, awarded APCo a contract for “design, drawings, DPR and construction of multi-group of villagers water supply scheme” in Agra and Mathura. The contracts were worth Rs 1,840.7 crore and Rs 892 crore.

In January this year, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation nominated APCO to  develop wayside amenities along Samruddhi Mahamarg corridor. 

In total, APCO has been awarded two road projects by the UP Public Works Department, three by the UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority, one by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, two by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, nine by the National Highways Authority of India, and one by Indian Railways Construction International Ltd, a PSU.

Update at 9 am, Mar 22: This report is updated with additional details on bonds purchased by APCO being encashed by BJP, as per new data from the EC.

This report is part of a collaborative project involving three news organisations – Newslaundry, Scroll, The News Minute – and several independent journalists.

Project Electoral Bond includes Aban Usmani, Anand Mangnale, Anisha Sheth, Anjana Meenakshi, Ayush Tiwari, Azeefa Fathima, Basant Kumar, Dhanya Rajendran, Jayashree Arunachalam, Joyal George, M Rajshekhar, Maria Teresa Raju, Nandini Chandrashekhar, Neel Madhav, Nikita Saxena, Parth MN, Pooja Prasanna, Prajwal Bhat, Prateek Goyal, Pratyush Deep, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Raman Kirpal, Ravi Nair, Sachi Hegde, Shabbir Ahmed, Shivnarayan Rajpurohit, Siddhartha Mishra, Supriya Sharma, Sudipto Mondal, Tabassum Barnagarwala and Vaishnavi Rathore.

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