'What did BJP sell for ₹5200 crore': Congress after SC ruling on electoral bond | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘What did BJP sell for 5200 crore’: Congress after SC ruling on electoral bond scheme

Feb 15, 2024 03:31 PM IST

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed the Supreme Court decision hoping the government will stop resorting to "such mischievous ideas" in the future.

The Congress party on Thursday trained guns on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Supreme Court struck down a scheme that allowed anonymous political donations in the form of electoral bonds.

Congress leader Pawan Khera. (ANI Photo)(AICC)
Congress leader Pawan Khera. (ANI Photo)(AICC)

“We want to know what has BJP sold in exchange for the 5200 crore it received in the form of 'electoral bonds'?” Pawan Khera, Congress's media and publicity department head, asked at a press conference.

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The BJP received 5,270 crore out of a total of 9,208 crore of total electoral bonds sold till 2022, according to Election Commission data based on disclosures by political parties.

“Did you sell airports, coal mines or bought MLAs? We have the right to know this” Khera said as he welcomed this decision of the Supreme Court and demanded the SBI to put all the information in the public domain.

Khera also expressed fear that the government may issue an ordinance to save itself from the apex court's ruling.

Read | Electoral bonds scheme verdict: What Supreme Court judges said in their judgment

The scheme, which was ruled unconstitutional by a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, allowed donors to give anonymously through "electoral bonds" purchased from a bank.

Electoral bonds were first sold in 2018. More than half of all donations received by political parties use the scheme, as per ADR's calculation.

Anyone could buy an electoral bond at the government-owned State Bank of India (SBI), in denominations ranging from 1,000 to 1 crore. The bonds were then delivered to the party which exchanged them for cash. The bonds which were exempt from tax, did not carry the name of the donor.

The Supreme Court in a landmark judgement delivered a big blow to the government and annulled the electoral bonds scheme for political funding, saying it violates the Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to information.

Khera alleged that the electoral bonds scheme was imposed on the country by ignoring the objections of officials of the Election Commission, finance ministry and law ministry.

“The electoral bond Scheme is a case of corruption, in which the Prime Minister is directly involved. Today the prime minister and his corruption have been exposed,” he alleged.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "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 a stamp has been put on this."

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