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Monday, April 22 2024
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2nd Largest Donor Purchased Electoral Bonds Near Contract Wins

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Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd made a number of electoral bond purchases close to the date of bagging crucial projects, including the all-weather Zojila tunnel that is being constructed at an estimated cost of ₹ 4,500 crore in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL) has emerged as the second-biggest buyer of electoral bonds worth ₹ 966 crore, according to data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday.

The unlisted firm donated the highest amount of about ₹ 585 crore to the BJP, followed by ₹ 195 crore to BRS, and ₹ 85 crore to the DMK.

As per available information, MEIL had bought bonds worth ₹ 20 crore in October 2020.

The company secured the project to construct Asia’s longest bi-directional road tunnel project in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the October-November period of the same year.

In March 2023, MEIL had bagged a ₹ 3,681 crore project for construction of a bullet train station at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

As per the ECI, the company made its highest purchase of bonds totalling ₹ 140 crore in the very next month – April 2023.

According to a company statement earlier, MEIL bagged a ₹ 4,358 crore Polavaram project in November 2019 in Andhra Pradesh in a reverse tendering process initiated by the state government.

MEIL had bought bonds worth ₹ 5 crore in October 2019, the ECI data showed.

The company also has several projects in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, among others.

It has also donated to the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), which until recently was in power in Telangana. The BRS, formerly known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi, got ₹ 195 crore as donations from the company.

MEIL donated bonds worth ₹ 85 crore to the DMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, and ₹ 37 crore to the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP got about ₹ 25 crore from the company, while the Congress got ₹ 17 crore.

The JD(S), Jana Sena Party and the JD(U) received smaller sums ranging from ₹ 5 crore to ₹ 10 crore from the company.

A query sent to the company seeking its reaction on the development remained unanswered.

The unlisted private firm was founded in 1989 by industrialist Pamireddy Pitchi Reddy as Megha Engineering Enterprises, manufacturing pipes for municipalities.

It changed its name to Megha Engineering and Infrastructure in 2006 and went on to execute big infrastructure projects like dams, natural gas distribution networks, power plants and roads.

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