Congress: Government must disclose details about electoral bonds before Parliament

Updated: Nov 21, 2019, 12:39 IST | PTI | New Delhi

Describing electoral bonds as a "political bribery scheme", the opposition party said it was a scam that tarnished the image of the Indian democracy

Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala address the media at Parliament House during the ongoing Winter Session, in New Delhi. Picture/PTI
Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala address the media at Parliament House during the ongoing Winter Session, in New Delhi. Picture/PTI

New Delhi: The Congress demanded on Wednesday that the government must disclose all details about electoral bonds before Parliament, alleging that the scheme resulted in money laundering and destroyed transparency in the funding of political parties.

Describing electoral bonds as a "political bribery scheme", the opposition party said it was a scam that tarnished the image of the Indian democracy. "What we are talking about today leads straight to the PM's office. The BJP govt is running 90 per cent of the business in this country with a few industrialists," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

He alleged that the scheme of electoral bonds resulted in money laundering and destroyed transparency in the funding of political parties. Addressing a press conference here, Azad, along with party colleagues Randeep Singh Surjewala and Anand Sharma, said under the electoral bonds scheme, the donor buying the bonds could hide his identity and at the same time, a political party needed to share the details as regards from whom it got how much money.

"Our demand is that the PM must intervene and the government must disclose full donor information, who donated crores to the BJP coffers, and place this information before Parliament," Sharma said. Parliament is in session and the government should make the disclosure before both the houses, he added.

Surjewala said, "The electoral bond scheme of the Narendra Modi government is a modus operandi to receive thousands of crores from big business houses through secret donations." Citing news reports based on RTI documents, he said, "The intrigue and the conspiracy has now indicted the prime minister himself. RTI documents now establish the role and indict none less than the prime minister himself."

"Their promise was to bring black money back from offshore accounts, but reverse if that is happening," Surjewala said. The grand old party further claimed that the government introduced the scheme by ignoring the objections of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and that it was a way of political extortion of money.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "On behalf of our party, we will strive to raise this issue in Parliament and ask the government to come clean on this."

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