These Hyderabad companies have made a major donation to the BJP in 2020-21

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Aurobindo Reality to Hetero: These Hyderabad Companies Donated Big to BJP in 2020-21

Hyderabad: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received a whopping Rs 477.54 Crore as political funding for the financial year 2020-21. Unsurprisingly, the Saffron Festival received hundreds of crores as an individual contribution (i.e. above Rs 20,000) for the eighth consecutive year. This is less donations received through the election trust and bonds.

Exceeding all deadlines set by the Electoral Commission for registered national parties to submit their contribution report, the BJP funding package was uploaded to the ECI website on May 31, 2022. It is pertinent to note that the BJP funding from Telangana has increased significantly over the years with many Infra and Pharma companies donating in the 7-8 figures.

In 2020-2021, Aurobindo Reality & Infrastructure Private limited gave Rs 5 crore to the BJP, the highest in Hyderabad. The company is represented by Sampath Kumar Reddy Aerva, Rohit Reddy Penka and Suneela Rani Penaka. Rohit Reddy Penaka is the director of 17 companies. In total, the company is linked to 24 other companies through its directors.

Interestingly, the listing mentions another “Aurobindo” – who donated Rs 3 crore without his office address or company details. If it is the same group (benefit of the doubt given the name), Aurobindo has donated Rs 8 crore to the BJP. Next on Hyderabad’s list is Visaka Industries who donated Rs 3 crore. Natco pharma donated Rs 1.5 crore and Banjara Hills-based MBG Commodities donated Rs 1.5 crore.

Dr. Reddy’s labs donated Rs 1 crore. TRS nominee Rajya Sabha and Pharmaceutical Mughal Bandi Parathasarathi Reddy’s Straight Group rated Rs 1 crore in BJP. Aparna, which deals with construction and real estate, donated Rs 50 lakh.

A new entrant to the list of contributors is Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development and BJP MP for Secunderabad, G Kishan Reddy. He donated Rs 26 lakhs. SV Productions donated Rs 10L, Partha Dental Clinic, Rs 10.04L, Dr. Southern constructions, Rs 10L and Shiv Kumar Addgulla Rs 10 L

Approximately, the BJP received nearly 18 crore in 2020-21 alone, as an individual contribution from Telangana. However, BJP funding through election trusts and bonds that conceal donors is dramatically high.

In 2019-20, Megha Engineering and ILABS donated Rs 5 crores each, the highest contribution from Hyderabad. Both companies were closely followed by NACTO Pharma Group which donated Rs 80 lakh. The MSN group donated Rs 40 lakh and the hetero drugs Rs 25 lakh. Other people have limited their contribution to a few lakhs. Looking at the charts, Telangana’s funding has gone from around 12 crore to Rs 18 crore in a year.

How Hyderabad-based Infra and Pharmaceutical companies donated Rs 24.5 Crore through Electoral Trust in which BJP was the biggest taker.

In the same fiscal year 2020-21, one of India’s wealthiest electoral trusts, New Delhi-based Prudent (formerly Satya Electoral) received a whopping Rs. 245.72 crore in corporate political funding in during the 2020-21 financial year. And unsurprisingly, the ruling Bharatiya Janata party received Rs. 209 crore out of it.

As India grappled with the first wave of COVID-19, a total of 31 business influencers donated to political parties. Among them, three are from Hyderabad – Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (donation of Rs. 22 crore), newcomer KMV Projects – Construction Company (donation of Rs. 1.5 crore) and GMR Airport Developers Limited (donation of Rs. 1 crore) – the group operates international airports in Hyderabad and Delhi.

It is pertinent to note that Prudent has been one of the BJP’s biggest backers since he came to power in 2013-14. Compared to 21 other trusts, Prudent receives more than 90% of corporate donations to political parties.

Indore-based Future Gaming and Hotel services (Rs. 100 crore), Bharati Group (Rs. 25 crore), Phillips Carbon Black (Rs. 20 crore) and Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure (Rs. 22 crore) are among major influential donors.

As a reminder, the concept of electoral trust was introduced by the UPA government and what followed next was the electoral obligations in the NDA. Professor Jagdeep Chhokar, a founding member of the Associate of Democratic Reforms, expressed concern about political finance. “Corporate influencers donate to recoup investments. They are part of favorable decisions and treatment by a political party. It is the company that decides who to donate to via trusts, bonds,” did he declare.

He said that in foreign countries, companies donate to like-minded parties. “However, the trend in India is different. It is quid pro quo. Political parties are 100% exempt from income tax under section 13(a). Funding received through trusts , bonds, individual contributions and other investments are not taxed. Over the years, it has been observed that institutions donate in non-election years. The BJP has proven to be the biggest winner” , he added.

Meanwhile, funding for the Indian National Congress (INC) has dropped significantly over the years. Between 2016-21, the BJP received Rs. 860 crore from Prudent, while the Congress received Rs. 96 crore.

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