Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw clarifies Electoral Bond donation amount after social media

Biocon Ltd Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has corrected a user on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) regarding the amount she donated through electoral bonds.

The user had claimed that Mazumdar-Shaw donated 5 crore every month before the Karnataka elections. However, the Biocon chief promptly responded, pointing out the calculation error. “That’s incorrect. Pls do the math,” she wrote.

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Further clarification revealed that Mazumdar-Shaw’s total donation through electoral bonds amounted to 6 crore. When another user, Arman Ahmad, asked her to specify if she had made donations through other modes, Mazumdar-Shaw responded, “I am always transparent and what you see is what is correct.”

On being questioned whether she was “asked” to donate, the Biocon chief acknowledged that all political parties seek funding, stating, “All parties want funding.”

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The issue gained attention after the Election Commission of India published a list detailing buyers of electoral bonds, which constitute a significant portion of political donations in the country. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled the electoral bond scheme unconstitutional, stating that it violated the right of voters to know who was funding their representatives.

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According to the data, around 11 per cent of the bonds issued between April 2019 and January 2024 were purchased by a firm led by Santiago Martin, also known as the “Lottery King.” His company, Future Gaming and Hotel Services, emerged as the single-biggest buyer of electoral bonds during the stated period.

However, the electoral bond data does not map buyers to recipients, leaving the question of which individual and corporate donors were funding specific political parties unanswered.

Mazumdar-Shaw’s clarification on her donation amount highlights the need for transparency in political funding and the ongoing debate surrounding the electoral bond scheme.

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Published: 16 Mar 2024, 10:47 AM IST

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