Congress says 30 firms facing investigation donated funds to BJP, demands probe | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Congress says 30 firms facing investigation donated funds to BJP, demands probe

Feb 23, 2024 01:38 PM IST

In a letter to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal urged for a thorough investigation into allegations

New Delhi: The Congress party has demanded a probe into allegations of quid-pro-quo between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and 30 companies that have allegedly donated huge sums of money to the ruling party while being under the scanner of federal agencies.

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal (File Photo)
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal (File Photo)

In a letter to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal urged for a thorough investigation into allegations as he cited news reports underlining that “At least 30 companies, which donated a total of nearly Rs.335 crore to the BJP between financial years 2018-19 and 2022-23, also faced action by central agencies during that period.”

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“Of these firms, 23 companies, which gave a total of Rs.187.58 crore to the party during this period, had never donated any amount to the BJP between 2014 and the year of the raid,” Venugopal said.

The BJP received donations from at least 30 firms after it “misused” the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the I-T Department for raids against them, Congress alleged.

The Congress leader maintained that they are not questioning the cases filed or actions taken against these business houses, but added, “It does warrant an investigation, on why these dubious firms, who have ED cases against them, are donating to the ruling party – BJP. Is it a mere coincidence that they are donating to the BJP, after ED action?”

He raised serious questions about the autonomy and professionalism of central investigative agencies, particularly those under the purview of the finance ministry and asked if the finance minister would “come up with a ‘white paper’ on BJP’s finances, not just the sources, but how you coerced corporate firms to donate, by misusing investigative agencies against them”.

“If you have nothing to hide, then are you willing to present a point-by-point rebuttal on the ‘Chronology’ of events which led to the filling of BJP’s treasury?” he asked.

“Suppose you are unwilling to come up with a factual explanation. Are you willing to present yourself for a Supreme Court-monitored investigation in these dubious deals to loot donations for the BJP?” Venugopal added.

At a press conference, the party’s communications chief Jairam Ramesh said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government put the Income Tax Department and other agencies after these companies, forcing them to donate Rs.335 crore to the BJP. This, he said, has been done in the last two to three years.

“We are not going to stop raising questions on this. We will also write to ED and CBI,” said Ramesh.

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