Stand by reservations against electoral bonds, says Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora
Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday reiterated the poll panel’s reservations about electoral bonds to anonymously fund political parties.
Amid reports that the EC had flagged concerns to the Narendra Modi government in July, a month after the Lok Sabha elections, Arora said, “We had first raised the reservations in 2017 and submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court. The matter is sub judice.”
He was addressing a gathering at Panjab University in Chandigarh to attend the annual alumni association’s meet.
The controversy over electoral bonds has erupted after allegations that the government bent rules and ignored objections raised by stakeholders by implementing the scheme. The Opposition wants Prime Minister Modi to break his silence on the issue.
Electoral bonds are a way for an Indian citizen or a company incorporated or established in the country to anonymously fund political parties. The Electoral Bond Scheme was notified on January 2, 2018. It was touted as a cash alternative that could be bought, singly or jointly, through select branches of the State Bank of India (SBI). These promissory notes can then be donated to political parties that have to encash them within 15 days.
On the proposal of one nation one poll, Arora said that political parties should first arrive at a consensus on the issue for its implementation.
Arora is a 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre. He is a postgraduate in English from Panjab University.