AIADMK leader criticises DMK of receiving funds from Lottery King via electoral bonds

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Leader of Opposition and AIADMK General Secretary, Edappadi K Palaniswami, criticized rival political party DMK, accusing them of accepting over Rs.500 crore from lottery king Santiago Martin’s Future Gamings and Hotel Services through electoral bonds, reported DT Next. Palaniswami’s put out a post on X, shortly after the Election Commission of India (ECI) released details of political parties’ statements on electoral bonds.

In a social media post, Palaniswami wrote, “It was exposed that the DMK received Rs.509 crore through electoral bonds from Future Gamings that runs a lottery and (online) gamblings. The people of the state will teach a fitting lesson to the DMK leader M K Stalin for receiving funds from a firm that exploits and loots the hard-earned money from the people.”

Palaniswami disclosed that the AIADMK had received Rs.6 crore through electoral bonds, with significant contributions from the Chennai Super Kings. Taking a swipe at the DMK government’s stance on online gambling, Palaniswami criticized their introduction of weak legislation against online gambling while accepting funds from companies involved in such activities.

However, he refrained from commenting on his former ally, the BJP, which was embroiled in controversy over electoral bonds. Critics urged Palaniswami to treat both the BJP and DMK equally on the issue of electoral bonds to gain the trust of the people. Despite being the top beneficiary, receiving approximately 50% of the total funds donated through electoral bonds. The BJP faced criticism after the Supreme Court deemed electoral bonds unconstitutional.

Santiago Martin, the lottery magnate, donated a significant amount, Rs.1,368 crore to various political parties. While the DMK’s receipt of Rs.509 crore was made public, information regarding the remaining Rs.859 crore is still undisclosed.