Gandhi Calls Electoral Bond Extortion Racket, Fadnavis Challenges him to Return Congress Donations

Mumbai: Reiterating his allegation that the electoral bond scheme was the world’s biggest extortion racket, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that the BJP used the money received through electoral bonds for toppling governments and breaking political parties like Shiv Sena and NCP. Addressing people in Thane during his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, the Congress leader said that the Shiv Sena and NCP MLAs did not “run away” for free. Hitting back at Mr. Gandhi, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis challenged him to return the money his party received through electoral bonds.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about rooting out corruption and the same Mr. Modi runs the world’s biggest extortion racket through electoral bonds. When lakhs of people were dying during the Covid pandemic, the PM asked people to clap and beat utensils. At the same time, Serum Institute of India, the company that made Covid vaccines, donated money to PM Modi in the form of electoral bonds,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Linking the donations received by the BJP through electoral bonds with the vertical splits in the Shiv Sena and NCP, the Congress leader alleged, “It’s an extortion racket used for toppling governments led by opposition parties and for breaking political parties. Do you think Shiv Sena and NCP MLAs in Maharashtra ran away for free?”

However, Mr. Fadnavis alleged that the Congress leader was upset only because his party’s source of black money was stopped by it. Before the electoral bonds were introduced, the political parties were allowed to receive donations upto Rs 20,000 in cash, which is used to be the largest portion of the overall donations received by political parties. Now the maximum share of donations is through electoral bonds, which were issued through banks.

“BJP is the biggest party in the country with 303 members of parliament. We received 30 per cent of total electoral bonds. Rest 70 per cent went to other parties including the Congress. Will he return the money received by his party or will he reveal whom did his party threatened to get donations from them? His outburst is only because his party’s black money funding has stopped. The Congress only wants black money to fund its election campaigns,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

The BJP leader also defended the electoral bond scheme and said that if there are any shortcomings in it, the courts will correct them.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the BJP has made the Congress economically handicapped by freezing the party’s bank accounts ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. “We have no money to fight polls or prepare our election campaign. Even the money collected through crowd funding cannot be used. Congress has been made economically handicapped through tax terror,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story