Jharkhand’s JMM Party Reveals Hindalco Industries As Sole Donor Through Electoral Bonds


Hindalco Industries, an aluminum & copper manufacturing company and a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group was the sole donor, contributing Rs 1 crore to JMM

In a positive move, Jharkhand’s ruling party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has become the first political party to reveal their donor’s details who contributed to the party through the Centre’s much controversial Electoral Bonds scheme. Hindalco Industries, an aluminum and copper manufacturing company and a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group was the sole donor and contributed Rs 1 crore to the party.

Hindalco Industries, an aluminum and copper manufacturing company donated Rs 1 crore to JMM

The Shibu Soren-led party made the declaration in a contribution report for FY 19-20 submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI). According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit organization working in the area of political and electoral reforms “It is to be noted that the JMM party has declared the name of the donor who donated ₹1 crore through electoral bonds in its contribution report for FY [financial year] 2019-20, however, this income through electoral bonds has not been declared by the party in its audit report for FY 2019-20,”

A new report by ADR also said that electoral bonds are the most common and popular source of income for national and regional political parties.

“Given the anonymity provided to donors by the scheme, electoral bonds have emerged as the most popular channel of donations to parties in the last two years.”

Association for democratic reforms

The Electoral Bonds scheme which aids funding for political parties in a very opaque manner by hiding the donor’s name and pitched as an alternative to cash funding for parties has come under heavy criticism on grounds of lack of transparency, denying the common citizen of ‘Right To Know’ and paving way for unaccountability from the political class. Because of this scheme, citizens are unaware of the source of fundings of political parties and the extent to which the donor has donated money.

JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya told The Indian Express “Since we have given them (Hindalco) a receipt, we have also disclosed the name in our report to EC. Parties like BJP may not be disclosing details of donors but we have nothing to hide,” he said. Asked why Hindalco asked for a receipt since SBI issues one while buying the bond, he said, “We are not concerned with that.”

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The BJP has been the biggest beneficiary of the scheme, having received Rs 1,660.89 crore, or 60.17 percent of the total Rs 2,760.20 crore received by parties via electoral bonds, in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Its audit report for 2019-20 is not public yet.

On March 25, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea from ADR seeking a stay on further sale of electoral bonds ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, and Puducherry. It said that since the scheme had functioned in 2019 and 2020 without any impediments, there shouldn’t be any problem now.

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