Big donors from Andhra and Telangana: Pattern of raids, electoral bonds and Rajya Sabha seat

The BJP received the highest amount, while the BRS figures among the top five beneficiaries of the electoral bonds scheme.

ByVasu Gandikota

Published Mar 15, 2024 | 12:23 PMUpdatedMar 15, 2024 | 5:55 PM

Telangana assembly polls

Several companies from the Telugu states—Telangana and Andhra Pradesh—figure among the long list of firms and individuals who purchased electoral bonds to benefit different political parties.

Among companies from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh that purchased the bonds, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) tops the list with a contribution of ₹966 crores. Another company, Western UP Power Corporation, a subsidiary of MEIL, donated ₹220 crore between October 2023 and January 2024. That brings this group’s total contribution to ₹1,186 crore.

The total contributions of a dozen companies from these states totals ₹1389,25,00,000 (over ₹1,389 crore).

The prime beneficiaries are believed to be the two political parties ruling at the Centre and in the State during the period the bonds were purchased–-Bharatiya Janata Party and Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

While the BJP received the highest amount, the BRS and other regional parties, such as DMK and TMC, were among the top five beneficiaries of the electoral bonds scheme.

Also read: BRS tops in South

Pharma donors prominent

Pharma majors Dr Reddy’s donated ₹84 crore, Natco Pharma ₹69 crore and Aurobindo ₹52 crore. Interestingly, Aurobindo purchased multiple bonds of ₹1 crore each between November 8 and 15, 2022, around the same time its Director, Sharath Chandra Reddy, was arrested in connection with the Delhi liquor scandal. Likewise, Reddy’s bought the bonds days after the IT raided the company in November 2023.

Another pharma major, the Hetero group of companies established in the 1980s, donated ₹60 crore. Hetero founder B Partha Saradhi Reddy was sent to the Rajya Sabha by BRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao in June 2022. Reddy was then considered the richest MP in the country.

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Incidentally, a few months before, in October 2021, the Hetero group was raided by IT at more than 50 locations across the country. The IT department had then stated that it had seized unexplained cash of ₹140 crore.

A couple of months before his nomination to the Rajya Sabha, on 7 April 2022, the Hetero group purchased 40 bonds of ₹1 crore each.

On 11 April 2022, the BRS was seen as having encashed bonds of precisely the same value.

Realty major My Home Infra, based out of Hyderabad, contributed ₹24.5 crore. Tellapur Techno, which purchased bonds worth ₹20 crore, happens to be a subsidiary of My Home.

The promoters of My Home were once close to the TRS (now BRS) leadership before gradually coming close to the BJP. Incidentally, the company had been raided by the Income Tax department in the past. The company is also the owner of the TV9 group of channels, in which Megha Engineering also has a stake.

Geenko, a green energy company considered close to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, purchased bonds worth ₹35 crore. Navayuga Engineering, which had executed tunnel projects in BJP-ruled states in North India, also contributed ₹55 crore.

Shirdi Sai Electricals, another company said to be close to the YSRCP government, purchased bonds worth ₹40 crore. Only during the previous month – December 2023- was the company raided by the IT department.