Kerala industrialist Sabu Jacob says purchase of electoral bonds compliant with law

Kerala industrialist defends electoral bond purchase, denies illegal favors
Sabu Jacob
Sabu Jacob

Kochi | Prominent industrialist Sabu M Jacob on Wednesday said the purchase of electoral bonds by his company was in accordance with the existing laws in the country, clarifying that he had not accepted any favour, not even of Rs one, from any government over this.

Jacob, who is also the president of a political party called Twenty20, said his company was not among those institutions that had made contributions to political parties for indulging in corruption.

Jacob has been at loggerheads with the ruling CPI (M) in Kerala for some time and his justification on the purchase of electoral bonds comes amidst reports that the rival parties would raise the issue against the Twenty20 during the campaign for Lok Sabha polls.

As the crucial general election is just weeks away, Jacob also declared that he would end all activities of Twenty20, the political party founded by him, if it was found that he had accepted any illegal favour from any state government or the Centre.

The businessman admitted that the apparel major Kitex Group, owned by him, had bought electoral bonds for various political parties but was reluctant to divulge further details, saying the issue is pending before the Supreme Court.

"We have not accepted any favour or assistance from anyone illegally—from any state governments or the Centre," he told media.

Asked whether making contributions to political parties was a deviation from the proclaimed stand of the Twenty20, Jacob said his business and politics should be seen separately.

He asserted that the politics put forward by the Twenty20 was against the conventional political parties, who "plunder the country and exploit the common people." Justifying the purchase, Jacob further said he was a Christian and that his faith wouldn't change if he contributed money to a Hindu temple.

"So, even if I am the head of a political party, my politics and ideology won't change just because I make contributions to other political parties from my business institution," he further said.

Noting that his business establishment was a public limited company, he said all its activities, including the purchase of electoral bonds, were transparent.

The balance sheet of the company had been published after the audit, and there was nothing for them to cover up in the issue, Jacob explained.

Taking a dig at political parties, he alleged that it was they who actually tried to cover up the information regarding contributions they received from individuals and institutions.

He also urged them to take a collective decision not to accept contributions if they had any objections to them.

Twenty20, which was formed in 2015, recently announced its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha seats-- Chalakkudi and Ernakulam.

Jacob had announced Charly Paul and Antony Judi as party candidates for the Chalakkudy and Ernakulam constituencies, respectively.

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