Congress seeks transparency in electoral bond scheme, alleges it favours ruling party

Congress seeks transparency in electoral bond scheme, alleges it favours ruling party

The Congress on Friday alleged that the electoral bond scheme was designed to favour the ruling party and demanded a transparent system of electoral funding.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said more than 52 per cent of the BJP’s political donations of Rs 5,271.97 crore between FY 2016-17 and FY 2021-22 came from electoral bonds as against Rs 1,783.93 crore received by all other national parties according to a new report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Also read: Explained: What are electoral bonds and why are they controversial?

“This effectively implies that the Modi government’s controversial, corrupt and contrived electoral bonds scheme is a money whitening scheme, which converts black money to white,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi.

“Cash, crony capitalism and corruption is the new chal, charitr and chehra of the BJP,” Khera said. The Congress, he said, wants a transparent system of electoral funding. “We will keep on exposing the corporate money greed of the Modi government and the BJP,” he added.

The Congress in its 2019 Lok Sabha manifesto and the 85th Plenary Session in Raipur earlier this year promised to scrap the opaque electoral bond scheme that is designed to favour the ruling party, he said. “Instead, we promised to set up a national election fund to which any person may contribute,” the Congress leader said

He added that the funds will be allocated at the time of elections to recognised political parties in accordance with criteria laid down by law. “We believe that the electoral bond scheme results in financial monopoly of the ruling party on electoral funding and is detrimental to creating a level-playing field, which is a prerequisite of a thriving democracy,” Khera noted.

Also read: Electoral bonds not transparent, should be scrapped: Former CEC Navin Chawla

“Destroying democracy, discarding transparency and demolishing electoral practices is the sole objective of the Modi government,” he alleged. In his view, the electoral bonds scheme imposes an uneven burden on institutions such as the State Bank of India (SBI) that are expected to remain impartial implementers. But in reality, he claimed, they would succumb to political pressures.

Moreover, while electoral bonds provide no details to the citizens, the said anonymity does not apply to the government of the day, which can always access the donor details by demanding data from the SBI, Khera argued. “This implies that the only people in dark about the source of these donations are the taxpayers,” he said.

(With agency inputs)

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