How Rahul Gandhi, other leaders reacted to SC's electoral bonds scheme verdict | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How Rahul Gandhi, other Opposition leaders reacted to SC's electoral bonds scheme verdict

Feb 15, 2024 02:14 PM IST

In a significant ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous verdict declaring electoral bonds as "unconstitutional".

After the Supreme Court verdict striking down the Centre's electoral bonds scheme, the Congress targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accusing the ruling party of “corruption”.

Supreme Court (Representative Photo)
Supreme Court (Representative Photo)

"Another proof of Narendra Modi's corrupt policies is in front of you. The BJP had made electoral bonds a medium for taking bribe and commission. Today this matter has been approved," Rahul Gandhi posted in Hindi on X (formally Twitter).

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court, “which has struck down this Black Money Conversion scheme of the Modi Govt”.

His post added, "We hope that Modi Govt will stop resorting to such mischievous ideas in future and listens to the Supreme Court, so that Democracy, Transparency and level-playing field persists".

A five-judge bench of Chief Justice of Inda DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra delivered a unanimous verdict on Thursday, striking down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court was adjudicating a series of petitions contesting the legal legitimacy of the central government's electoral bonds program. The ruling represents a setback for the BJP, as it has been the primary beneficiary of the system implemented in 2017.

What political leaders said?

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal, speaking to news agency PTI, said, “The consequences of that (SC judgment) are mind boggling for the simple reason that all the money that political parties have received and amongst political parties the BJP has received the maximum amount of money...obviously, since the scheme has been struck down...it has huge implications.”

Speaking on the judgment, former chief election commissioner of India SY Quraishi said, “It is the most historic judgement that we have got from the Supreme Court in the last 5-7 years. It is a great boon for democracy. We were all concerned about it for the last so many years...everyone who loves democracy was protesting about it. I myself wrote several articles and spoke to the media many time. And every issue that we had raised, has been tackled in this judgment.”

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anand Dubey called the verdict huge. He said, “It used to be kept hidden under the electoral bonds scheme, that from where the political parties and the government are receiving the funds, however, the Election Commission would need to tell everything from today. It’s a huge verdict.”

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the verdict would reinforce the power of votes over notes. He said, “The Supreme Court has held the much-touted Electoral Bonds scheme of the Modi Sarkar as violative of both laws passed by Parliament as well as the Constitution of India. The long-awaited verdict is hugely welcome and will reinforce the power of votes over notes. The Modi Sarkar has been inflicting ANYAY upon ANYAY on the Annadatas while privileging the Chandadatas. We also hope that the Supreme Court will take note that Election Commission has been consistently refusing to even meet political parties on the issue of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). If everything is transparent in the voting process then why this obstinacy?”

The Supreme Court also directed the State Bank of India to cease the issuance of electoral bonds with immediate effect and mandated the submission of all related information to the Election Commission by March 6.

Congress leader Manish Tiwari said that the judgement should be welcomed by right-minded people who “believe in probity in public life”. He said, “Supreme court ordering the SBI, the operator of Electoral Bonds Scheme to provide all the data to the Election Commission and the EC to publish it on its website is a welcome decision.”

What did the petitioner say?

Petitioner Dr Jaya Thakur said, “The Right to Information Act gives us the right to ask about the donation (fund) money and if it doesn’t get disclosed then it’s definitely a violation. It is a big victory for us. Our demand to cancel the electoral bonds has been fulfilled today.”

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