Country being pushed towards black money; everyone will regret attacking Electoral Bond scheme, says PM Modi

PM takes on the Opposition accusing it of spreading lies over electoral bonds, lauds the ED for significantly contributing to tackling corruption; he also says the govt. improved the law on appointing Election Commissioners  

April 15, 2024 09:21 pm | Updated April 16, 2024 07:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during an interview with Asian News International.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during an interview with Asian News International. | Photo Credit: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 15 said that the country had been pushed towards black money in elections after the Supreme Court scrapped the electoral bonds scheme, and that on honest reflection, “everyone will regret it”.

In his first detailed take on the electoral bond scheme after its scrapping, Mr. Modi in an interview to news agency ANI said that the scheme should also be viewed a success story as it had shown who made contributions to political parties.

What the Electoral Bonds verdict of the Supreme Court implies | In Focus podcast

He also said there was a lot scope of improvement in the scheme. “There has been a discussion in our country for a long time that [through] black money a dangerous game is there in elections. I wanted that we try something, how can our elections be free from this black money, how can there be transparency? There was a pure thought in my mind. We were looking for a way. We found a small way, we never claimed that this was the absolute way,” he said.

“Whether what happened in the process was good or bad can be an issue of debate, I never say that there is no shortcoming in decision-making. We learn after discussing and improve. There is a lot of scope of improvement in this also. But today we have completely pushed the country towards black money, hence I say everyone will regret it. When they will think honestly, everyone will regret it,” he said.

Also read | Did the electoral bonds scheme enable extortion?

He took on the Opposition accusing it of spreading lies over electoral bonds and said of the 3,000 companies that gave donations through the scheme, 26 faced action by probe agencies such as Enforcement Directorate (ED). He said of these 26 companies, there were 16 who bought electoral bonds when they faced action. “Of these [16 companies] 37% of the amount went to the BJP and 63% to parties opposed to BJP,” he said.

The chart shows the corporate donations received by major political parties (in ₹ crore) between FY17 and FY22:

He also denied allegations by the Opposition that there was a lack of a level playing field, and said that laws regarding the institutions were formed before his tenure, and that the Opposition was only trying to find an excuse for their impending defeat. Highlighting that only 3% of cases filed by the ED — which the Opposition said was being used by the Modi government to target them — were against persons involved in politics, Mr. Modi said a much higher amount of cash has been seized by the agency in the last 10 years than ever before. “How many Opposition leaders are in jail? No one tells me. And is this the same Opposition leader... who used to run their government? There is fear of sin [paap ka dar hai]. What fear does an honest person have? They had put my Home Minister in jail when I was Chief Minister,” he said.

He lauded the ED and said that since he had taken charge at the Centre in 2014, the Central agency has significantly contributed in tackling corruption.

He said that corruption had destroyed the country and it has to be tackled with full might. “We should fight against corruption with our full strength. And this is my personal conviction,” he said.

With regard to the Election Commission, he said that it was in fact under his government that a law “improving” the process of appointing Election Commissioners by a three-member committee that included the Leader of the Opposition was cleared. “We at least have members from the Opposition in the committee. Earlier, those close to the ‘family’ were made Election Commissioners who later got Rajya Sabha seats and Ministries. We [BJP] can’t play at that level,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview lasting 78 minutes, he also questioned the “compulsion” of the Congress in allying with the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu whose leaders had made objectionable remarks on Sanatana Dharma. “This should be asked of Congress — the same Congress with which Mahatma Gandhi had associated himself once upon a time; the same Congress whose Indira Gandhi publiclly wore Rudraksha Maala round her neck. The Congress should be asked what is its compulsion to sit with people who are spewing such venom against Sanatana?” he asked.

Watch | Electoral bonds banned: Which party benefitted the most while it existed? 

He added that five generations of the Jan Sangh (the BJP’s previous avatar) and the BJP had worked in Tamil Nadu. “Just as people disappointed with the Congress moved towards regional parties, now people are disappointed with these parties. In this atmosphere of disappointment, they saw the model of the BJP government in Delhi. They saw the model of the BJP government in other States in India. The Tamils who live across the country went to their homes and said that this is happening in the State where we live. So people naturally started to compare,” he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.