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Electoral bonds over Rs 1,000 crore sold in poll month

During the recent Assembly elections in Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram, political funding through anonymous electoral bonds surged by over 400% compared to the 2018 polls, reveals State Bank of India (SBI) data obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by The Indian Express.

In the 29th tranche of sales from November 6 to November 20, electoral bonds worth Rs 1,006.03 crore were sold and encashed, with 99% of the total amount raised through the sale of Rs 1 crore denomination bonds. In contrast, the sixth tranche in 2018 saw total sales of Rs 184.20 crore. Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi recorded the highest sales, while the New Delhi branch had the highest amount redeemed. 

The total amount collected through the scheme has now surpassed Rs 15,922.42 crore across 29 phases. Critics argue that the electoral bond scheme, introduced in 2018 to enhance transparency in political funding, remains opaque due to the anonymity that it provides. 

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