Congress questions BJP receiving three times more funds than all parties put together through electoral bonds

PM talks of transparency, but electoral bonds are the most opaque system of political funding, says Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera

July 14, 2023 07:37 pm | Updated July 15, 2023 12:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

AICC, Chairman, Media & Publicity Department, Pawan Khera. File

AICC, Chairman, Media & Publicity Department, Pawan Khera. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Demanding transparency and accountability in funding of political parties, the Congress on Friday claimed that 52% of the donations to BJP came in the form of electoral bonds and the amount totalled up to ₹5,200 crore in six financial years. 

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera claimed that the BJP got three times more funds than all other political parties put together through electoral bonds. Quoting the latest report of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), Mr. Khera said between 2016-17 and 2021-22, the BJP received ₹5,271.97 crore while all other parties together got ₹1,783.93 crore. 

Also read: Explained | The electoral bonds scheme and the challenges to it in Supreme Court 

Mr. Khera said, “₹5,200 crore came into the coffers of the ruling party, without any questions, without any answers and without the country getting to know what was the quid pro quo”, and added, “Whom did you get this money from and what did you give in return?”

He said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks of transparency, the electoral bonds are the most opaque system of political funding.  

Mr. Khera said electoral bonds were introduced when late Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister despite reservations from the Election Commission of India (EC) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 

Also read: Data | Corporate donations to political parties: Which party received the most?

The Congress spokesperson alleged that the electoral bonds “legitimised” crony capitalism as it removed earlier restrictions like a limit on companies that they cannot donate more than 7.5% of their three years’ net profit. 

Mr. Khera also alleged that ever since these bonds came into existence, it had become easier to “allure legislators and subvert democratically elected governments”. 

“This is the fair and lovely scheme that Rahul Gandhiji often mentions,” Mr. Khera said, alleging that unaccounted money was being channelised into the system using the scheme.

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