Bihar Assembly Elections: Electoral bonds worth more than Rs. 280 crore were sold

The State Bank of India sold electoral bonds worth more than Rs 282.29 crore ahead of the recently concluded Bihar assembly elections

Electoral bonds worth ₹282.29 crores were sold in October ahead of the Bihar Assembly election, the State Bank of India said on Friday in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query.

The RTI reply showed that bonds worth ₹282,29,01,000 were sold from nine SBI branches. The Mumbai branch sold the highest amount of electoral bonds at ₹130 crore.

Electoral bonds valued ₹1 crore each were sold the most at 279. Again, bonds worth ₹10 lakh each — 32 of them were sold. Nine bonds worth a lakh each were also sold. One bond valued at ₹1,000, which was not encashed, was transferred to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

The Centre had notified the electoral bond scheme on January 2, 2018. As per provisions, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Ahead of the Bihar polls, the Association for Democratic Reforms had moved the Supreme Court, seeking an urgent hearing of its 2017 plea challenging electoral bonds introduced for funding political parties.

In its plea, Association for Democratic Reforms pointed out that the sale window for electoral bonds was not opened in April and July, but was done so in October, just ahead of the Bihar elections.

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