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Posted at: Nov 21, 2019, 6:55 AM; last updated: Nov 21, 2019, 6:55 AM (IST)

Give poll bond details in House: Cong to PM

Party leaders cite RTI information to prove rules of the scheme were bent on Modi’s directions
Give poll bond details in House: Cong to PM

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 20

The Congress today accused the ruling BJP of using the electoral bond scheme to its advantage and demanded complete donor disclosure before the two Houses of Parliament.

Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala cited some Right to Information (RTI) details to allege that rules of the electoral bonds scheme were bent to suit the ruling BJP ahead of Assembly polls.

“The electoral bond scheme is a political bribery scheme. We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to disclose the details of donors under the scheme before Parliament. What we are saying today relates directly to the PM,” said Azad.

The Congress said the scheme was “the Modi government’s modus operandi to receive thousands of crores from big business through secret donations”. The party alleged that bonds worth Rs 6,128 crore had been issued since March 2018.

The opposition leaders referred to three principles of the scheme, which they said facilitated fraud. “The donor doesn’t need to disclose the source of funds, the political party need not disclose the name of the donor, and there is no limit on the amount to be donated to the political party. RTI documents have shown that the RBI and the Election Commission were both bypassed to implement the electoral bonds scheme,” said Congress leaders, adding that the RBI had warned against the money laundering potential of the scheme.

The Congress said the PM had directed that the rules of the scheme be bent to ensure financial strength to the BJP before Assembly elections.

“The RTI documents have established the role of the Prime Minister. The first tranche of bonds worth Rs 222 crore was issued in March 2018 and 95 per cent went to the BJP. The Ministry of Finance wanted to issue the electoral bonds before the Karnataka Assembly elections of May 2018 and a note was put up on April 3, 2018, for amending the scheme to enable issuance of bonds before the polls. Secretary (Economic Affairs) SC Garg rejected the amendments, but they were later effected on PM’s directions,” a statement from the Congress leaders alleged. They said Garg later overturned his own stance, arguing that bonds be issued in view of the requirement before the Karnataka Assembly elections.

“The BJP and the PM must come clean before Parliament,” said the Congress.


‘Political bribery’

"The electoral bond scheme is a political bribery scheme. We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to disclose the details of donors under the scheme before Parliament." — Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress leader

What it alleges

  • The first tranche of bonds worth Rs 222 crore was issued in March 2018
  • The Ministry of Finance wanted to issue electoral bonds before the Karnataka Assembly elections of May 2018
  • A note was put up on April 3, 2018, for amending the scheme to enable issuance of bonds before the polls
  • Secretary (Economic Affairs) SC Garg rejected the amendments, but they were later effected on PM’s directions

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