Amit Shah's challenge to Rahul Gandhi on electoral bonds: ‘Accept you extorted as well’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Amit Shah's challenge to Rahul Gandhi on electoral bonds: ‘Accept you extorted as well’

By, New Delhi
Apr 19, 2024 06:00 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly described the now-scrapped electoral bonds as “the world's biggest extortion scheme.”

Union home minister Amit Shah has challenged Rahul Gandhi to accept that the Congress, too, “extorted” money through the now -scrapped electoral bonds, as he responded to the latter's repeated description of the scheme as “the world's biggest extortion scheme” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “champion of corruption.”

Union home minister Amit Shah (File Photo)
Union home minister Amit Shah (File Photo)

“Their (opposition) parties have also received donations through bonds. Is that extortion as well? Rahul Gandhi must tell the people, ‘Yes, we have also extorted',” Shah told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

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Also Read | PM Modi accuses Opposition of spreading lies on electoral bonds scheme: 'Everyone will regret it’

The senior BJP leader also reiterated that donation received by opposition parties in proportion to the number of MPs, is much more than what the ruling party got.

“They (opposition) do not have an issue…there is no allegation of corruption against us. So they are trying to create confusion. But they would not be successful,” he added.

Also Read | ‘He fully lied to nation’: Congress reacts to PM Modi's statement on electoral bonds

The electoral bonds, introduced by the Narendra Modi government in January 2018, was a scheme through which companies/individuals could give funds to political parties without the donors' identity being revealed. In February this year, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the scheme was “unconstitutional,” and struck it down.

The top court also directed State Bank of India (SBI), through which the bonds were purchased, to provide Election Commission of India (ECI) information related to the scheme, including the donor-party link, total funds received by parties, total donations made by companies/individuals, and more.

Also Read | Officials of Megha Engineering, 2nd top donor in electoral bonds, booked by CBI for corruption

Acting on the Supreme Court's directions, the ECI uploaded the details on its website, showing that the BJP, with funds worth 8251 crore, was the largest beneficiary with almost 50% of the overall amount ( 16,518 crore). The Congress ( 1952 crore) was next, followed by the Trinamool Congress ( 1705 crore).

The data also revealed that some of these companies were facing action by central agencies, triggering allegations that these were forced by the ruling BJP into making donations, and hence the “extortion” charge.

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