Trust Prudent: Magical BJP Cheques!

Trust Prudent: Magical BJP Cheques!

IN THIS EDITION OF FRANKLY SPICY, EFFKAY TAKES OFF ON A REPORT THAT FIRST APPEARED IN MARCH 2024, IN THE HINDU NEWSPAPER. IT’S NOT YESTERDAY’S NEWS: THE BEAT GOES ON!

In the magical land of Indian politics, there exists an enchanted entity known as the Prudent Electoral Trust. Since its birth in 2013, this mystical trust has raised a whopping $272 million, demonstrating its prowess in the art of financial alchemy.

Stand aside, Potter-heads! With a flick of its wand, the trust has funnelled roughly 75% of its treasure to the valiant knights of NaMo’s Table, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This loyal allegiance is so strong that the trust has managed to donate ten times more to the BJP than the paltry $20.6 million it begrudgingly tossed to the weary opposition Congress party.

While Prudent remains coy about the identities of its fairy godmothers – the individual corporate donors whose gold it transmutes – a thorough investigation by the noble scribes at Reuters has unearthed some enchanting details. Between 2018 and 2023, eight of India’s mightiest business empires collectively offered at least $50 million to the trust, which in turn, performed its alchemical duties by issuing cheques for equivalent amounts to the BJP.

Among these secretive benefactors are four illustrious companies: ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel, Bharti Airtel, GMR, and Essar. Curiously, these giants of industry do not appear on the BJP’s official donors’ list, preferring the cloak of invisibility provided by Prudent’s labyrinthine channels.

The Wizards Behind the Curtain

Bharti Airtel, the founding wizard of Prudent, relinquished control to independent auditors Mukul Goyal and Venkatachalam Ganesh in 2014. Despite this noble gesture, Airtel claims it has “no influence on the decisions, directions and mode of disbursal of funds.” Ah, the twisted tale of how Dumbledore spawned a pair of Gremlins!

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Among the most generous conjurers is L.N. Mittal’s ArcelorMittal group. Their transactions are tales of legendary benevolence. For instance, on July 12, 2021, ArcelorMittal Design and Engineering Centre Private Limited bestowed ₹500 million ($6.03 million) upon Prudent. Miraculously, the very next day, Prudent sent a cheque for the exact same amount to the BJP. Coincidence or wizardry? The realm may never know.

Similarly, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India gifted ₹200 million to Prudent on November 1, 2021, and another ₹500 million on November 16, 2022. As if by magic, these exact amounts were transferred to the BJP on November 5, 2021, and November 17, 2022, respectively. Despite multiple summons, ArcelorMittal’s spokesman remains as silent as the enchanted forests of the north.

The Dance of the Cheques

Bharti Airtel continues to spin its web of generosity, issuing ₹250 million to Prudent on January 13, 2022, and ₹150 million on March 25, 2021. In a breathtaking display of synchronicity, Prudent handed over cheques for these exact amounts to the BJP on January 14, 2023, and March 25, 2021. Truly, the timing is nothing short of spellbinding.

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka group also joins this mystical ballet with three of its entities – Haldia Energy India, Phillips Carbon Black, and Crescent Power – crafting cheques for ₹250 million, ₹200 million, and ₹50 million on March 15, March 16, and March 19, 2021, respectively. By March 17, the BJP received a ₹450-million cheque from Prudent, followed by another for ₹50 million on March 20. A well-choreographed performance worthy of the grandest court.

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A Saga of Unspoken Alliances

Thus, the saga of the Prudent Electoral Trust unfolds, a tale of unspoken alliances and financial enchantments. As the BJP continues to benefit from this benevolent fountain of wealth, the true wizards behind the scenes remain shrouded in mystery, their motives as inscrutable as the darkest corners of the enchanted realm. In this world of politics and power, perhaps it’s best to remember that not all magic is performed with wands and spells – sometimes, it’s done with cheques and ‘charity’.

A Symphony of Generosity

In an age where cynicism runs rampant, Prudent Electoral Trust stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to corporate India’s unwavering commitment to democracy and political equanimity. Their seamless conversion of corporate donations into political support is nothing short of miraculous. In Prudent, we find the true essence of altruism: giving without asking for recognition, only the satisfaction that democracy thrives on such selfless acts.

So, let us raise a toast to Prudent and its benefactors, the silent orchestrators of a political symphony, playing the harmonious tune of democracy, one cheque at a time.

Cheers to the unsung heroes of India’s political landscape!