Thu, 21 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], Nov 21 (ANI): Congress party on Thursday alleged that corruption has been covered up through electoral bonds scheme and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had floated a request to issue "illegal" electoral bonds ahead of Karnataka assembly elections in 2018.

"I want to draw the attention of the House towards electoral bonds. RTI in 2018 revealed that government overruled Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds. Despite warnings by the Election Commission and the RBI, the government issued electoral bonds. This is a cover-up of corruption by the government," senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha.

"Before 2017, there was a basic structure in this country. There was control over the interference of rich people in the country...There is no clarity on donor and their identity. The electoral bond scheme was limited to elections. The irony is on April 11, 2018, PMO had ordered to issue illegal electoral bonds," Tewari said before Lok Sabha Speaker interrupted him and asked him to refrain from mentioning PMO and called out the next member to speak in the House.

A ruckus ensued in the House with opposition MPs raising slogans from their chair even as Tewari was speaking on electoral bonds.

The Congress is to raise the issue of electoral bonds in Lok Sabha today for which the party is even likely to stage a walk-out if they are not allowed to have a detailed discussion, sources from the party said.

Congress Parliamentary Strategy meeting told that the party has reached out to the Opposition parties for devising a floor strategy to corner the Narendra Modi-led government over the same, sources added.

"We will not let the issue of electoral bonds die down. We will make the government answerable. Reaching out to opposition parties to build a floor strategy against the government, we want a detailed discussion on it," said the source.

"If the government doesn't allow discussion on the issue of electoral bonds, Congress to stage a walkout. Congress will also hold a protest at the Gandhi statue," it said.

The issue will be raised by Tewari in the Standing Committee on Finance set to meet at 3 pm today.

Earlier in the day, the Congress party gave an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over "lack of transparency in the entire scheme of electoral bonds".

Electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state shall be eligible to receive the electoral bonds.

The bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank. (ANI)

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