Modi admitted failure to curb flow of black money, says Professor Haragopal

Meanwhile, he pointed out that the PM said there will be drastic changes to the constitution once the Union government comes to power for the third term.
SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Prof Haragopal & others take part in a talk on electoral bonds in Hyderabad Sunday
SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Prof Haragopal & others take part in a talk on electoral bonds in Hyderabad SundayPhotos |Sri Loganathan Velmurugan

HYDERABAD: Retired University of Hyderabad (UOH) Professor Haragopal said that the Union government could have curbed the flow of black money through taxation, I-T, and other law enforcement agencies instead of electoral bonds.

Haragopal was speaking at a talk titled ‘Election 2024: Democracy and Constitution in Danger’ at Madina Public School on Sunday. He was joined by eminent Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, Prashant Bhushan, and RTI activist, Anjali Bharadwaj.

“Right from the beginning, when the BJP government came to power in 2014, the major slogan was that Congress was corrupt, and there is a lot of money inside India and overseas, especially in Swiss banks. If it is brought back, Rs 15 lakh could be given to every family. But after 10 years, suddenly this issue of electoral bonds has come up,” said Haragopal, adding, “I don’t know how anybody justifies that it (electoral bonds) is not a corrupt practice because the Supreme Court has declared it unconstitutional and illegal.”

The former professor went on to say, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said during an interview while referring to electoral bonds that there is a lot of flow of black money in India, if you say that you are accepting that there is a lot of black money in India. In 10 years, this government has promised the people that our entire focus will be to root out black money, and when demonetisation was announced, the entire process was to put a leash on black money. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says if they are elected to power again, they will bring back the electoral bonds, but how can you when it is already unconstitutional?”

Meanwhile, Prashant Bhushan alleged that the electoral bond “scam” is bigger than a few thousand crores. “If the ruling BJP amassed Rs 6,000 crore from the electoral bonds, the corporate players, who escaped legal scrutiny after buying the bonds, bagged contracts worth 100 times more, of lakh crore. That is why Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband called it the biggest scam in the world.”

He also questioned the rationale of the expenditure cap on candidates, but not political parties. “Suppose if 500 BJP candidates spend the maximum amount limit set by the ECI of Rs 75 lakh, then it amounts to around Rs 400 crore. But the rest will be spent by the party, as there is no bar on its expenditure. How is it a level playing field when one party’s (BJP) cumulative wealth is combined with all the other opposition parties.”

Meanwhile, Haragopal pointed out that the PM said there will be drastic changes to the constitution once the Union government comes to power for the third term. “They should tell people what those changes were that couldn’t be made in the past 10 years. He has admitted that they have not been able to control black money in the past 10 years, despite huge mandates and numerous bills enacted into law.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com