NEW DELHI: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday hit out at the BJP government over the use of electoral bonds and sought an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
Speaking to ANI, Tharoor said, "It is a serious issue. When electoral bonds were introduced, many of us had raised serious objections about how it could easily become a way for rich corporations and individuals to influence improperly political parties, particularly the ruling party."
He continued, "But anyway it was introduced and passed by Parliament on the notification for Lok Sabha where it was apparently extended illegally to the state assembly elections. This is a very serious issue, and as I said on social media yesterday, I think Prime Minister owes an explanation to the country."
Seeking an explanation from the Prime Minister over the issue, Tharoor said, "They should give an explanation as to why when the notification was only issued for Lok Sabha then why these bonds were issued for state assembly election enabling the ruling party to soak up a large sum of money. If the money of common man is going in someone's else pocket and that person is giving it to the BJP then something is rotten in this state," he added.
Earlier today, the Congress party gave adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha on over "lack of transparency in the entire scheme of electoral bonds".
The adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure which, if admitted, leads to setting aside the normal business of the House for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.
Yesterday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad hit out at the BJP government at the Centre over the electoral bond scheme.
Speaking at a press conference, Azad had said, "To issue electoral bond scheme was a conspiracy. It was based on the premise that the donor who gives money need not disclose his identity. The political party is also not liable to disclose the identity of the donor."
"This was opposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has stated that this scheme will lead to the encouragement of money laundering," Azad had said.
"In this scheme, it is not disclosed who gives fund to a political party. The money could be donated from a fraudster or even a terrorist," the Congress leader said while criticising the electoral bond scheme.
Electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state shall be eligible to receive the electoral bonds.
The bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank.