Unraveling the Electoral Bond Saga: Origins, Impact, and Demise

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Unraveling the Electoral Bond Saga: Origins, Impact, and Demise

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has struck down the electoral bond scheme, nearly seven years after its introduction by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 2018. This ruling comes after a prolonged legal battle and highlights the unconstitutional nature of the scheme, which has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and potential for misuse.

Electoral Bond Saga


The court, declaring the scheme unconstitutional and in violation of the right to information and Article 19(1)(a), has directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to furnish details of donations made through electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (EC). The EC is mandated to publish these details on their website by March 13, 2024.

Year Total Donations (in crores) BJP’s Share of Donations (in crores) Percentage of Donations to BJP

Electoral Bonds Are Illegal Now. But Who Benefitted for the 6+ Years They Lasted?

Money funneled through electoral bonds has already played a significant role in funding two general election cycles and numerous state elections. The scheme has faced intense scrutiny, with concerns raised about its impact on democratic processes and accountability.

What Needs to Be Disclosed by March 13: 5 Charts to Gauge the Cash Flow Through Electoral Bonds

Visual representations illustrate the flow of funds through electoral bonds, underscoring the significant gains made by the BJP through this controversial scheme.

A Long Time Coming

The journey of electoral bonds has been fraught with controversy since its inception. Here are eight stories that shed light on its origin, impact, and the opposition it faced:


  1. How Finance Ministry Decided RBI’s Dissent on Electoral Bonds Meant ‘Indirect’ Approval
  2. Exclusive: BJP Received Donation From Company Being Probed for ‘Terror Funding’

2020: 3. Electoral Bond Scheme Results in Visible Dip in Transparent Corporate Donations

2023: 4. How Two IAS Officers Chaperoned the Electoral Bonds Bill Despite RBI’s Objections

  1. Lokesh Batra: The War Veteran on a Mission To Tackle the Electoral Bonds Scheme
  2. After Electoral Bonds: Income from Unknown Sources to Political Parties Rose to 72% of Total Income

2024: 7. BJP Received Almost 90% of All Corporate Donations to Political Parties in 2022-23

  1. ‘Part of Secret Ballot’: How the Modi Govt Backed Electoral Bonds in the Supreme Court

These stories offer a comprehensive understanding of the electoral bond saga, from its contentious inception to its eventual demise.


Q: What were electoral bonds? A: Electoral bonds were a financial instrument introduced by the BJP government in 2018 for making anonymous donations to political parties.

Q: Why were electoral bonds controversial? A: Electoral bonds faced criticism for their lack of transparency, potential for misuse, and undermining of democratic principles.

Q: What was the Supreme Court’s ruling on electoral bonds? A: The Supreme Court declared the electoral bond scheme unconstitutional and instructed the disclosure of donation details to the Election Commission of India.

Q: What happens next after the Supreme Court’s ruling? A: The Election Commission is tasked with publishing details of donations made through electoral bonds, bringing greater transparency to political funding.

Q: How did electoral bonds impact political funding? A: Electoral bonds facilitated significant contributions to political parties, particularly benefiting the BJP, and raised concerns about the influence of corporate interests on the political process.

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