What is PM so scared of, asks Cong on electoral bonds issue

The Congress attacked PM Modi on Wednesday over the electoral bonds issue, alleging that his government, through the SBI, has consistently tried to halt or delay the revelation of who donated how much to which political party.
Congress on Electoral Bonds
Congress on Electoral Bonds

New Delhi | The Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday over the electoral bonds issue, alleging that his government, through the SBI, has consistently tried to halt or delay the revelation of who donated how much to which political party.

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said "surprisingly" the prime minister is grounded in New Delhi on Wednesday and not travelling around the country for new "inaugurations", for rebranding, or for claiming credit for past work.

In a post on X, Ramesh put forward some questions for the PM, saying he should answer about the most basic responsibilities of his government.

"Since the Supreme Court Verdict which declared Electoral Bonds as unconstitutional on February 15, 2024, the Modi Government '? through the SBI '? has consistently tried to halt or delay the revelation of who donated how much 'chanda' to which political party," Ramesh alleged.

What is the prime minister so scared of and what new scam will the electoral bonds data reveal, he asked.

"On February 20, 2024, it was revealed that the BJP got a bonanza of Rs. 335 crore in donations from 30 companies, immediately after they had been raided or investigated by the ED, CBI, or IT department. Why did these firms donate to the BJP immediately after being raided?" Ramesh said.

Is the BJP intimidating these firms through the threat of ED-CBI-IT investigations to extort donations from them, he asked.

Ramesh's attack on the government came a day after the State Bank of India (SBI) submitted to the Election Commission the details of entities which had purchased the now-scrapped electoral bonds and political parties which received them, as it complied with the Supreme Court order to furnish information.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered SBI to disclose the details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission by close of business hours on March 12.

As per the order, the Election Commission will have to publish the details shared by the bank on its official website by 5 pm on March 15. The SBI had sought time till June 30 for disclosure of the details. Its plea, however, was rejected by the apex court.

In his post, Ramesh also asked why did the BJP "accept Rs 4.9 crore in donations from four SEBI-designated shell companies".

"Whose black money was routed to the BJP through these companies?" he said.

Attacking the BJP over the the government notifying the rules four years after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, was passed by Parliament, Ramesh said that according to the manual of Parliamentary Affairs, and all established norms of government, rules to any Act are to be framed within six months of its passage.

"Why has it taken four years and three months for the Modi Sarkar to frame rules to the Citizenship Amendment Act? Why have the rules conveniently come out just on the eve of a Lok Sabha election?" Ramesh said.

Noting that the smooth functioning of the institutions of democracy is the first and most important priority of a Government, Ramesh asked how did things get to a point where, on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections, India has only one serving Election Commissioner rather than three.

Why did Election Commissioner Arun Goel resign so abruptly, he asked.

Why is the Modi government so afraid of the Congress Party, that it has to resort to "Khata Bandi and tax terrorism", he asked.

"Why have the Congress Party's bank accounts - with funds donated by ordinary Indians - been frozen, while over Rs. 6,000 crore in anonymous corporate money given to the BJP through the unconstitutional electoral bonds scam is freely usable?" Ramesh said, asking Prime Minister Modi to break his "silence" on these issues.

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