Delhi

Congress, Left parties oppose electoral bonds, say it distorts political scenario

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‘New rules under RTI Amendment Act will dilute RTI Act’

While warning that electoral bonds encourage crony capitalism and distort the political playing field, the Congress and both major Left parties vowed to continue opposing the scheme during a Jan Manch or people’s gathering organised by the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information on Wednesday.

Congress MP Rajeev Gowda pointed out that while the BJP had claimed that donors would remain anonymous under the scheme, information accessed by RTI activists showed that the government can track details through SBI (the state-owned issuing bank) and the serial number on the bonds. It’s not surprising that the BJP has been the biggest beneficiary, with 90% of known donations, he said, demanding that the scheme be scrapped and the names of all donors released into the public domain.

Yechury files plea in SC

The electoral bonds scheme encourage crony capitalism, said Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, noting that he has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking abolition of the scheme. Communist Party of India leader D. Raja said that schemes like the electoral bonds were completely skewing the political scenario, adding that the challenge ahead is to fight money power in politics.

Free and fair elections cannot be ensured without ensuring a level playing field amongst parties in terms of resources and funding, he said. The political leaders also opposed the new rules under the recently enacted RTI Amendment Act, saying that it would dilute the RTI Act. Delhi residents at the Jan Manch spoke about how the government put them through hardships during demonetisation in the name of fighting corruption even while pushing electoral bonds which is an instrument for money laundering. When the government wants citizens to account for their income and switch to digital payments, why are political parties not disclosing details of who is funding them, asked a resident.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:37:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/congress-left-parties-oppose-electoral-bonds-say-it-distorts-political-scenario/article30280937.ece

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