Electoral bonds country’s biggest corruption scandal: Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Electoral bonds country’s biggest corruption scandal: Rahul Gandhi in Karnataka

Apr 17, 2024 08:34 PM IST

Gandhi was commenting on PM Modi’s recent interview with ANI, where the PM aimed to portray electoral bonds as a means to clean the political landscape

Mandya: Calling the electoral bonds the biggest extortion scam in the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that prime minister Narendra Modi’s hands were shivering when he was asked about the controversial bonds. Gandhi was addressing his first public rally in Mandya in Karnatakaas part of the ongoing Lok Sabha election campaign.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)

Gandhi was commenting on PM Modi’s recent interview with ANI, where the PM aimed to portray electoral bonds as a means to clean the political landscape. However, Gandhi characterised electoral bonds as India’s largest scam, likening them to an extortion scheme run by “petty, goonda (thug) elements.”

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“When he was talking about the electoral bonds, his hands were shivering. This is because electoral bonds are the country’s biggest corruption scandal. He claims the electoral bonds will clean politics but they cover up who paid money and where they spent it. But the Supreme Court has called the electoral bonds illegal. They stopped it…” he said.

“When the data is made public, it becomes clear that when a company gets a contract and thousands of crores are given to the BJP. There is an I-T and ED raids on a company and when the money is paid, the investigations end. On the streets of the country, we call it extortion,” the Congress leader added.

“Generally, small-time goons resort to extortion by threatening them. But this is our biggest corruption scandal. The government has threatened and forced the businesses to pay money. They have taken hafta (extortion money) from businesses. That is why his hands were shivering,” said the Wayand MP.

Talking of local electoral politics, recalling his previous assertion during Karnataka elections that the JD(S) functioned as the BJP’s ‘B team,’ Gandhi remarked: “Now they’re not just allies but collaborative partners working towards shared objectives.” Notably, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy stands as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate in Mandya.

Gandhi said the coming Lok Sabha elections was a clash of two sets of ideologies of which the Congress and the INDIA block represented the forces that fought for freedom, ushered in a constitutional democracy and worked for the poor while the BJP was antithetical to such views, and it is a government-run for the benefit of about 25 corporate bigwigs.

He levelled accusations against the BJP, alleging a bias towards the wealthy. While neglecting to improve the livelihoods of farmers, the party reportedly excused loans totalling 16 lakh crore for approximately 25 corporate entities and industrialists, he said.

“This staggering sum could have sustained the MGNREGA scheme for 24 years,” Gandhi said. “Wherever the BJP holds power, farmers express discontent over agricultural woes, aggravated by the government’s failure to address their concerns.”

Reiterating the Congress party’s commitments, Gandhi said that upon assuming power at the national level, legislation would be enacted to ensure a legally guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce, along with nationwide forgiveness of farm debts and expedited settlements for crop insurance claims within 30 days. The Congress vowed to provide 1 lakh annually to women from economically disadvantaged families across India, equating to 8,500 per month. When combined with the 2,000 assistance provided by the Congress government in Karnataka, women from such families would receive 10,500 monthly.

Under the ‘Pehli Naukri Pakki’ scheme, Congress proposed to offer apprenticeships to every educated youth for one year, with beneficiaries receiving 8,500 annually.

Addressing a rally in Kolar district, Gandhi highlighted the alarming wealth disparity, revealing that 22 individuals in the country possess the same wealth as 70 crore people. “They wield boundless riches and resources, leaving the remainder of India to merely observe,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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