Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday slammed the BJP government over the electoral bond scheme calling it a "conspiracy." Speaking at a press conference Azad explained how this scheme was opposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which stated that it could lead to the encouragement of "money laundering." Ghulam Nabi also explained how the Election Commission has stated that this scheme will end the transparency of the donations that political parties get. It may eventually lead to an increase in the use of black money by political parties through shell companies.
"To issue electoral bond scheme was a conspiracy. It was based on the premise that the donor who gives money need not disclose his identity. The political party is also not liable to disclose the identity of the donor," said Ghulam Nabi Azad.
On Wednesday the Congress party hit out at the Centre demanding the BJP-led government to disclose all details about the electoral bonds before the Parliament alleging that the scheme has hindered the transparency in the funding of political parties. Describing electoral bonds as a "political bribery scheme", the Congress party called it a scam that tarnished the fabric of Indian democracy. Senior Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Randeep Surjewala and Anand Sharma alleged that the BJP introduced electoral bonds to transfer "black money to the BJP coffers". On Monday Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had taken a dig at the BJP-led government over reports that it overruled the RBI to introduce electoral bonds, saying in 'New' India, bribes and illegal commissions are called electoral bonds.
"In this scheme, it is not disclosed who gives fund to a political party. The money could be donated from a fraudster or even a terrorist," said Ghulam Nabi.
Electoral bonds can be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person can either buy electoral bonds, singly or jointly with other individuals. However, only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state shall be eligible to receive the electoral bonds. The bonds can only be cashed by the political party through a bank account with the authorised bank.
(With Inputs from ANI)