New Delhi: Dravida Munnetra Kahzagham (DMK) has disclosed year-wise details of electoral bond donations. The disclosure, done in November 2023, was revealed in fresh documents uploaded today by the Election Commission.

The political party, currently ruling Tamil Nadu, received Rs 656.5 crore through the scrapped political funding scheme.

DMK’s largest donor is Future Gaming and Hotel Services Private Limited, also the biggest donor of electoral bonds. Of the total Rs 1,368 crore donated, the company gave Rs 509 crore to the party, a whopping 37.2% of its total bond donations.

Future Gaming is a lottery company owned by India’s ‘lottery king’ Santiago Martin. The Collective previously disclosed how the company donated, in the financial year 2021-2022, electoral bonds worth six times its annual profit.

The company has faced action by law enforcement agencies. Its movable assets of over Rs 400 crore were attached by the Enforcement Directorate in April 2022. Santiago Martin’s son Charles Jose Martin has been a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2015.

Its second largest donor is also the second largest overall donor of bonds. The Hyderabad-based Megha group, Megha Engineering And Infrastructures Limited, donated Rs 86 crore to DMK. This is 6.9% of the group’s total donation through electoral bonds.

The group is owned by businessman Krishna Reddy, reportedly close with former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. It has several big central and state government contracts in its portfolio and has been in the spotlight for being favoured by Telangana’s previous government.

DMK is one of the three parties that have disclosed all its electoral bond donations, as per Supreme Court’s November 2023 order in which it asked parties to give disclosures on electoral bond donations received, including name of the donor of each bond till September 2023. Other two parties are The Janata Dal (Secular) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. Apart from these three, eight other parties have disclosed names of donors but they have provided the information only till April 2019.

Most parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, All India Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have not disclosed the names of donors in the lists submitted to the court. This goes against the Supreme Court’s interim order of April 2019 which directed political parties to submit electoral bond donation details along with names of each donor in sealed cover. In its November 2023 order, the court observed that its previous order was not restricted to April 2019 and asked parties to submit the details till September 2023.

In FY 2019-2020, they got Rs 10 crore from India Cements, Rs 2 crore from “IRB”, Rs 1.5 crore from “LMW”, Rs 5 crore from “Triveni” and Ramco Cements, Rs 20 crore from “Megha Infrastructures”, Rs 1 crore each from “Appollo” and Birla group. 

IRB might refer to IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited and the donation is possibly made before 12 April 2019, since the list put out after that does not feature the name. The only IRB in the list is a company called IRB MP Expressway Private Limited that purchased bonds in July 2023. LMW might refer to Lakshmi Machine Works Limited, a Tamil Nadu based textile machinery manufacturer. Triveni is also the name of an engineering conglomerate based out of Uttar Pradesh. The Collective couldn’t independently verify if they are the same.

In FY 2020- 21, DMK received Rs 60 crore from Future Gaming and Hotel Services and Rs 20 crore from Megha Infrastructure.

In FY 2021- 22, the party received Rs 249 crore from Future Gaming and Hotel Services, Rs 40 crore from Megha Infrastructure, Rs 10 crore from Sun TV Network, Rs 4 crore from India Cements and Rs 3 crore from “Triveni”.

In FY 2022-23, Future Gaming and Hotel Services donated Rs 160 crore and Megha Infrastructure gave Rs 25 crore to the party.

April 2023 onwards, the party has received electoral bond money only from Future Gaming and Hotel Services, which gave it Rs 40 crore.