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Poll bonds aim to choke Opposition’s funding: Congress

Spelling out its opposition to the electoral bonds being pushed by the ruling government, the Congress fears the move is aimed at choking fund flow for the Opposition while ensuring that the BJP gets

Published: 09th January 2018 09:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2018 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Spelling out its opposition to the electoral bonds being pushed by the ruling government, the Congress fears the move is aimed at choking fund flow for the Opposition while ensuring that the BJP gets all the donations.

“This is a grand exercise in ensuring that all funds go to the ruling party. It has been packaged as an electoral reform but the moment you unwrap the package, you can very easily discern as to what the real intent of the government is,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

The Congress has been battling with paucity of funds after losing the 2014 national polls and a series of Assembly polls. The BJP, now ruling 18 states, had emerged as the party receiving maximum donations, as per an ADR report.

Tewari added it would be easy for the government to obtain data from the State Bank of India as to which individual/organisation purchased an electoral bond, and who encashed it.

“If you are talking in terms of ushering in transparency, essentially no individual/corporate entity will be able to donate any money to the Opposition party out of fear that if they do so their businesses will be targeted. You saw that happening in the case of a political party, which is in opposition to us. When they had put their donors’ details on a website, the government went after them,” he said, citing the case of AAP, without naming the party.

“The electoral bonds will further perpetuate opacity in terms of funding and financing in the political system. In short, they would not increase transparency,” Tewari added.Taking a dig at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s blog post in the favour of the bonds, Tewari said it was okay for the BJP if their minister wrote on social media while objecting similar attempts in a newspaper by the former Congress ministers (P Chidambaram). “This shows their double standards,” he said.

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