Electoral bonds | SBI plea seeking time till June 30 is condemnable: P Chidambaram

The former Union Finance Minister said SBI could compile the details of electoral bonds in a day, if it chose to do so; he also said the BJP had failed to deliver on many of its polls promises including on the creation of jobs

March 09, 2024 04:12 pm | Updated 05:51 pm IST - CHENNAI

P. Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister, addressed a press conference in Chennai on Saturday, March 9, 2024

P. Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister, addressed a press conference in Chennai on Saturday, March 9, 2024 | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday, March 9, 2024, strongly condemned State Bank of India’s plea seeking time till June 30 to comply with a Supreme Court direction, to make public, the details of electoral bonds purchased since April 2019.

These details, Mr. Chidambaram said, could be compiled in a day. The Central government does not want the details to come out before the elections, he alleged, adding: “It is condemnable that the largest bank, SBI, is acting in favour of the government. The case is coming up before the Supreme Court on March 11. I hope the apex court will deliver a good verdict,” he told reporters at the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee’s Headquarters in Chennai, Sathyamurthy Bhavan.

To a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frequent visits to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Chidambaram asked why the Prime Minister was not talking about issues such as unemployment, price rise and the delay in the AIIMS, Madurai project.

“From February 22 to March 7, Mr. Modi has announced projects worth ₹5.90 lakh crore, out of which ₹17,300 crore is for Tamil Nadu. He will announce many more [projects] before the election dates are announced. But I don’t see any allocations made in the Union budget for these projects,” he said.

Mr. Chidabaram also said that the BJP has not fulfilled many of its poll promises, including the creation of 2 crore jobs every year.

The Prime Minister has announced a reduction in domestic LPG prices by ₹100 a cylinder, Mr. Chidambaram said, but pointed out that Mr. Modi should have announce that the prices would not be increased, if he comes back to power.

The Congress leader also said that youth unemployment was a huge issue and to tackle it, Rahul Gandhi has announced five guarantees during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which would be part of the Congress’s manifesto. These include recruitment to 30 lakh vacant government posts, apprenticeships for youth after the completion of their education, a law to curb government recruitment exam paper leaks, provision of social security to gig workers by implementing legislation nationally and a ₹5,000-crore fund for supporting startups, Mr. Chidambaram said.

Mr. Chidambaram also said the Act brought in by the BJP to curb the recruitment exam paper leaks was toothless and the Congress proposal promises monetary compensation to the victims and fast-track courts to punish the offenders

Mr. Chidabaram said the current GST system was flawed and had affected both big and small businesses and traders, and the Congress if voted to power, would bring in ‘GST 2.0’. He also said that not only Finance Ministers of non-BJP ruled States, but Finance Ministers of all States felt that the Centre was depriving them of funds.

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