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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Alcobev sector donated around Rs 120 crore to TMC, electoral bonds data reveals

A prominent contributor in this segment is IFB Agro Industries Limited, which had donated Rs 42 crore through electoral bonds purchased between October 2021 and April 2023

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 23.03.24, 11:30 AM
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Strong bond Sourced by the Telegraph

The alcobev sector is not only a big contributor to the Bengal exchequer but also a big donor to the ruling Trinamul Congress, with electoral bond donations of around Rs 120 crore, according to the data made available on the election commission website.

From distillers and distributors in Bengal to bottling plant companies in Purulia and Jalpaiguri, the list includes the names of 16 donors.

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A prominent contributor in this segment is IFB Agro Industries Limited, which had donated Rs 42 crore through electoral bonds purchased between October 2021 and April 2023.

Marking a rare instance of direct disclosure of contributions through electoral bonds, the company had informed stock exchanges on April 1, 2022, that “in the best interest of the company” its board had approved a subscription of electoral bonds in one or more tranches aggregating not more than Rs 40 crore in FY23.

The company, which owns a distillery in Noorpur in the South 24 Parganas district, had informed the bourses on June 26, 2020, that on the previous day around 150 armed goons had attacked its plant.

The second largest contributor in this segment is Transways Exim Private Limited with contributions of around Rs 21 crore.

The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing of country liquor, bottling of IMFL and also reportedly owns homegrown brand Calcutta Gin through group company Essencia Beverages.

The list includes city-based Castle Liquor, which is a multi brand distributor for Allied Blenders and Distillers, Radico Khaitan, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Tilaknagar among others. Castle Liquor has donated Rs 6.8 crore to the ruling party in Bengal through electoral bonds.

The list also includes names such as Candy Spirits, Dynamic CS Bottling plant, Galaxy CS Bottling plant, Herald Beverages, Himadri Khan Country Spirit Bottling Plant, K.D. Liquor and Fertilizer, Kishan FL Bond Warehouse, Ramesh Agarwal Country Spirit Bottling Plant, Mardi Gras Liquor Division among others.

“It is not always the case that there is pressure to make donations. Because business is done in the state, sometimes it could be a goodwill gesture as well,” a bottling plant owner from the state said.

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