Various opposition leaders staged a protest against the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the lack of transparency over the issue of electoral bonds. The Indian National Congress (INC) lead the protests at Parliament and staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha. INC leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that electoral bonds are a way of turning "black money into white" and that the government should form a committee to investigate the issue.
The INC stepped up the attacks, alleging that the government is a "factory of lies" and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi break his silence over the issue. Several senior Congress leaders, including the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress' leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, protested against the government inside Parliament House premises. The issue of electoral bonds has snowballed into a political flashpoint following reports that the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission had reservations against them, but were overruled by the Modi government. Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a tweet, cited a media report that claimed that the government made SBI accept expired electoral bonds sold in the illegal window, and alleged that the government was a "factory of lies".
The government is naturally not accepting any of the accusations and Piyush Goyal, in charge of the Ministry of Commerce addressed a press conference where he said that the allegations against the government are false and went on to give an explanation on how the government has implemented electoral bonds to bring in more transparency in the system. He said, "By electoral bonds, we have made sure that whatever money is used in election proceedings must come from the bank, through the KYC procedures, and can be issued by selected SBI branches so that the SBI can keep its track. arlier, there was no record of where the money came from and where it went. The new system will now allow tax-payer's money with KYC tags to buy bonds. These bonds will remove the fear of banks in the minds of donors, who can now rightfully donate."
(with inputs from PTI)