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Congress’ Kharge Targets Modi as BJP Receives 50% Funding Through Electoral Bonds

The Election Commission (ECI) released details of electoral bonds data on Thursday, causing quite a commotion in political circles, with the opposition accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of arranging a massive “scam” in the guise of funding.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the President of the country’s major opposition Congress party, directly charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption on Friday, citing statistics that showed the BJP cashed over half of all bonds acquired.

The BJP cashed electoral bonds worth Rs 6060.5 crore, representing 47.5% of the total bonds issued by the State Bank of India (SBI) between April 12, 2019 and January 24, 2024.

“PM Modi says “na khaunga, na khane dunga, but it seems that he only meant —”sirf BJP ko khilaunga,” Kharge charged. His remarks referred to Modi’s popular slogan about eliminating corruption, often used in his election campaigns.

He also highlighted the huge disparity in the amount received by the BJP and the Congress – 47.5 per cent against 11 per cent.

“There are many dubious donors. Who are these people? Which companies are these? Why have so many companies donated only after ED, IT and CBI raids? Who exerted the pressure on such companies? We demand the highest level of enquiry by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to investigate this saga of corruption by the BJP,” Kharge said.

Raking up the recent issue of Congress’ bank accounts being frozen, he questioned why no action has been taken against the BJP, which has “illegally acquired crores and crores of money.”

The Congress further demanded that an enquiry should be made on the issue and the BJP’s accounts should be frozen immediately.

The Congress and other Opposition are crying foul over the scheme, alleging it has disproportionately benefited the ruling party. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Kabil Sibal among other Opposition leaders have alleged the BJP of having carried out “extortion” by “harassing” corporates with financial probe agencies.

“One country. One Guru. One Enforcement Directorate (ED). One IT. One CBI. One Political Party. 55 per cent of all donations. Go figure,” Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra said.

“Electoral bonds are BJP’s guarantee to convert black money into white. Electoral Bond ‘Black Money Tourism’ means BJP’s guarantee of purification of money taken out and brought back,” Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also issued a formal statement alleging “instances of both quid pro quo and using agencies like the ED to forcibly extort funds from corporates through bonds.”

The data was shared with the ECI by the SBI following an order by the Supreme Court on February 15. The SBI is the authorized body to issue the anonymous bonds, which facilitated funding to political parties until the top court struck down the scheme in its February judgement.

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(Source: Business Standard)

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