'Some People Can't Accept Transparency': PM Modi Hits Out At Electoral Bond Critiques

Published : 28 Nov 2019 8:10 AM GMT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 26, Tuesday, slammed the Opposition for not supporting the electoral bonds scheme.

He said, “Some people have problems with anything that is done to ensure transparency. Nowadays, electoral bonds are the favourite topic for such individuals,” reported.

PM Modi’s remark has come in the backdrop of electoral bond controversy, emerged following a series of reports by HuffPost India. The reports allege that the BJP government at the Centre, overruled Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission’s concerns while introducing electoral bonds with the Finance Bill 2017.

The BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav in a letter to Arun Jaitley, the then Finance Minister, had vouched for greater donor anonymity in the bonds. The letter was obtained by activist Lokesh Batra through Right To Information, reported The Hindu.

The party wanted electoral bonds to be issued without any serial number or identification code that can be traced to its source. However, they had to incorporate the identification mark and serial number as it was demanded by the State Bank of India that issues the bonds.

BJP asked for 60-90 day window to encash the bond and also required an assurance that political parties should not be held accountable or responsible for the revelation of foreign donors.

“Political party should not be responsible for ensuring that the donor is not a foreign source since we will not have the identity of the donor. The responsibility of checking foreign source should be on the Bank issuing the Bonds,” Yadav said in the letter.

However, the RBI’s recommendation for a 15-day expiry period for encashment of bonds found its place in the final version of the electoral bonds.

“While the banks have assured that the Electoral Bonds will not disclose contributors’ name, we would recommend that the Electoral Bonds be issued without any serial numbers or identification marks that can later lead to identifying the contributor,” read Yadav’s letter.

However, the traceability of the serial numbers and identification marks created a win-win for the BJP. Now, only political parties can trace back their donors. This ensures that they will make sure whether or not the payment by the interested party has been made without public getting access to the serial number.

Earlier The Wire it was revealed that the Bharatiya Janata Party received donations from a company that is under Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation for facilitating ‘terror funded activities’. It is said that the company’s owners, directors have links with a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, late Ibrahim Mirchi.

The BJP brought in the electoral bonds bill that paved the way for a ‘secretive channel’ to obtain money from the corporates for the political parties, despite the Reserve Bank Of India restraining them from doing so.


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