Trinamool on electoral bonds: ‘Dropbox outside office, don’t know who gave money’

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Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh has said that the party doesn’t know who donated money to the party under the Electoral Bonds scheme. He said that there was a “dropbox” kept outside the party office . 

At a press conference, Ghosh said: “Let me make a very clear statement. The electoral bonds were started by the BJP, they had made the law to bring it.  Suppose someone buys an electoral bond. They have 10 days’ time (to give it to a political party). A drop box was kept in front of the TMC office. Anyone could put money in that box. There is no way to know who the giver is. (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee has been insisting since the 90s that elections should be done on state funding.” 

According to the data shared by the State Bank of India, Trinamool received Rs 1,610 crore through electoral bonds from 211 donors between April 12, 2019 and January 24, 2024.

Ghosh added that Mamata Banerjee had been insisting “to put an end to (the inflow of) black money, huge amount of money”.

“This has been her demand and theory for several years, but the BJP did not listen to that. The BJP brought the new rule in the form of electoral bonds, and we all just followed it. The Trinamool Congress did not know how much money was given to the party. A drop box used to be kept in front of the Trinamool Congress building.”

As per the SBI data, lottery company Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd, which is the biggest purchaser of electoral bonds, bought bonds worth over Rs 1,300 crore between 2019 and 2024. Of this, it donated the highest amount of Rs 542 crore to Trinamool Congress.

Among companies that donated funds to TMC were: Transways Exim Private Limited, Keventer Foodpark Infra Limited, Rashmi Cement Ltd, Rahul Bhatia, Westwell Gases Private Limited, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, Misrilall Mines Pvt Ltd, Himalayan Endeavour Pvt Ltd, M/s Ramesh Agarwal C S Bottling, PL Ripley & Co Stevedoring & Handling Pvt, Castle Liquors Private Limited, and Monalisa Bottling Industries Pvt Ltd.

Last week, the Election Commission of India made public a fresh data set of electoral bonds, including their alpha-numeric numbers that can help match their purchasers with the political parties that received the funds.

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