Infosys, Biocon donated to JD(S) via bonds


The group also faced raids by the Income Tax Department in June 2022…reports Asian Lite News

Janata Dal (Secular), which was among the parties to have disclosed the identity of their electoral bond donors, received more than half of its total Rs 89.75-crore donations from Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL).

According to the details submitted to the Election Commission of India by H D Deve Gowda, national president of the JD(S), electoral bond donations from MEIL amounted to Rs 50 crore – nearly 56 per cent of total received by the party.

Run by Krishna Reddy, MEIL is involved in marquee projects of the Telangana government such as the Kaleswaram Dam project. In total, the company and its subsidiaries have spent more than Rs 1,200 crore on electoral bonds between April 2019 and November 2023, as per data released by the Election Commission. This makes it the second-largest purchaser of electoral bonds.

In October 2019, the Income Tax department raided the offices of the company. Following this, a probe was also initiated by the Enforcement Directorate. On April 12 that year alone, MEIL had purchased bonds worth Rs 50 crore. In March 2019, it had donated bonds worth Rs 10 crore to JD(S); it also donated Rs 40 crore via poll bonds to the JD(S) in 2023.

While MEIL was the biggest donor to the JD(S), which has aligned with the BJP in Karnataka to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the second-largest donor to the party was the Embassy Group of Companies, which donated Rs 22 crore. All the bonds from the Embassy Group were received by the JD(S) in 2018 – Rs 3 crore in March, Rs 7 crore in April and Rs 10 crore in May, two days after the announcement of the 2018 election results that led to a hung Assembly.

The Embassy Group is headed by Jitendra Mohandas Virwani, a major builder and realtor in Bengaluru. He has developed several prominent properties in the city and partnered K J George, currently Karnataka’s Energy minister, in the development of the Embassy Golf Links – one of the most prominent tech parks in the city.

The group also faced raids by the Income Tax Department in June 2022.

JSW Steel was another major donor to the JD(S), donating electoral bonds worth Rs 5 crore in three payments in 2019, between April 6 and 11. JSW runs a steel unit at Ballari and was at the centre of a controversy over the state government’s plan to sell 3,667 acres of land to the firm. In 2019, when the JD(S)’s H D Kumaraswamy was Karnataka chief minister, the state government had agreed to sell the land, but the sale was put on hold amid legal and political opposition to the move. Two years later, the BJP government under B S Yediyurappa had also decided to sell the land to the firm, but that plan was also later shelved.

ALSO READ-Minister accused of giving Infosys ‘VIP access’

[mc4wp_form id=""]