Congress slams government over electoral bonds, says it will perpetuate 'malpractice'

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the electoral bond scheme was an exercise in ensuring that the ruling party garners all the funds.

Published: 08th January 2018 08:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2018 10:22 PM   |  A+A-

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari. (File photo: EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Attacking the NDA government over the electoral bonds issue, the Congress said today that it would perpetuate "electoral malpractice" and increase opacity in the funding of political parties.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the electoral bond scheme was an exercise in ensuring that the ruling party garners all the funds and no individual or corporate entity is able to donate money to the opposition party out of fear of being targeted.

He said the government in power will ascertain as to who has donated to the opposition parties or purchased the bonds and those donating to opposition parties will be targeted, as has been happening.

"The electoral bonds are an exercise in perpetuating opacity in perpetuating non-transparency, in perpetuating electoral malpractice," he told reporters.

"Electoral bonds will not increase transparency. On the contrary, electoral bonds will further perpetuate opacity in terms of the funding and financing of IndiaÂ’s political system," he told reporters.

Reacting to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Facebook post yesterday, Tewari said that the Finance Minister has problems if a former minister writes a newspaper column but is himself posting on the social media platform.

"It is very symptomatic of the double standards which this government has on everything," Tewari said.

"This is a grand exercise in chicanery. This is a grand exercise in actually ensuring that all funds go to the ruling party and it has been packaged as an electoral reform. You can very easily discern as to what the real intent of the government is," he said.

Jaitley had said that the electoral bonds mechanism was a substantial improvement in transparency over the present system and the government was open to suggestions to further cleanse political funding.

In the Facebook post, Jaitley had said the conventional practice of funding the political system was to take donations and spend in cash. The sources of funding, he said, are anonymous or pseudonymous and the quantum of money was never disclosed.

"It is a wholly non-transparent system. Most political groups seem fairly satisfied with the present arrangement and would not mind this status-quo to continue.

"The effort, therefore, is to run down any alternative system which is devised to cleanse up the political funding mechanism," Jaitley had said on the electoral bonds scheme that was launched recently by the government.

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