Political parties send details of electoral bonds to Election Commission
Electoral bonds are sold four times a year --- January, April, July and October, and for another 30 days in the year general elections are held.
Several political parties on Wednesday submitted to the Election Commission (EC) details of electoral bonds received and encashedby them since the poll funding mechanism was first issued in 2018, officials aware of developments said.
These parties included the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC), among others, the officials added.
In line with a November 2 order by the five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, EC had instructed all political parties to submit details of the electoral bonds encashed by them by 5pm on November 15. These details have to be submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope by November 19.
“We have received responses from some political parties. Since we have to submit our response to the Supreme Court on November 19, we will continue to accept responses from the parties even though the deadline has passed,” a senior EC official said on the condition of anonymity.
The BJP, people aware of the matter said, sent year-wise details of the electoral bonds it received and encashed between March 2018 and until September 30, 2023. A senior Congress official confirmed that the party submitted the information available with it.
“We have not taken any [electoral bonds] so there are no details to submit. We are the only political party … that has filed [court] challenges to the electoral bond. The case has just been heard,” said Sitaram Yechury, the secretary general of the CPI(M).
“Trinamool Congress is a law-abiding party. We follow the rules but questions related to the electoral bonds should be asked to the BJP which bags 80% of the funds,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien said.
In its November 3 order reiterating the court order, EC directed all political parties to give details of the donors against each bond, “the amount of each such bond and the full particulars of the credit received against each bond, namely, the particulars of the bank account to which the amount has been credited and the date of each such credit”.
Electoral bonds are sold four times a year --- January, April, July and October, and for another 30 days in the year general elections are held. They allow political parties to accept money from donors whose identities are kept anonymous. SBI is the sole authorised bank by the government to sell and redeem these bonds.
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