A third of the top 50 electoral bond donors are from a single city - Kolkata. This is according to businessline’s analysis of the Electoral Bonds data uploaded by the Election Commission of India.

These 16 Kolkata-based companies cumulatively purchased Electoral Bonds worth ₹1,925.8 crore, between April 2019 and January 2024. Among them, Haldia Energy Limited, a RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group power company, bought bonds worth the most money - ₹377 crore. The company operates two 300 MW coal-based thermal power plants at Haldia in West Bengal.

The second biggest donor from the city is Aditya Birla Group’s Essel Mining and Industries Limited, which donated ₹224 crore. Aditya Birla Group has made more bond purchases under the names of several other companies it owns, including Birla Carbon India Private Limited and Grasim Industries Limited. The third in the list is Keventer Foodpark Infra Limited which purchased bonds worth ₹195 crore. This firm too has made donations under the names of other companies owned by the group - Madanlal Ltd and MKJ Enterprises Ltd.

At the same time, data from the Association for Democratic Reforms shows that until January 2024, the most number of electoral bonds purchased in Kolkata was 7,834. These were worth ₹ 3,333.8 crore. Mumbai comes second in the list, where 5,426 bonds were purchased. However, these were worth ₹4,000 crore.

The third highest number of bonds were purchased in Hyderabad - 4,812. businessline’s analysis also shows that after Kolkata, the highest number of donors in the top 50 list come from Hyderabad. The topper here is Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd, which made bond purchases worth ₹966 crore, the second highest in the country.

Just eight Mumbai-based firms feature in the list of the top 50 donors. The city-based company that spent the most money on electoral bonds is QWIK Supply Chain Private Limited, which is reportedly linked to Reliance Industries Limited. However, Reliance said the company was not a subsidiary of any Reliance entity.

(With inputs from Abhishek Law)