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Cong seeks JPC probe into electoral bonds, says it's threat to democracy

The party also sought an early decision on the issue by the Supreme Court on the legality of these bonds

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Manish Tewari
File photo of Manish Tewari

Stepping up its attack on the Union government over the electoral bonds issue, the Congress on Thursday sought an inquiry by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into these “opaque” donations.

The party also sought an early decision on the issue by the Supreme Court on the legality of these bonds.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress leader Manish Tewari said the party will continue to raise the issue in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha as it considers it to be a "threat to democracy".

Earlier in the day, the party in the Lok Sabha accused the Union government of making "government corruption official" by introducing anonymous electoral bonds, and said the earlier regulation over the influence of the rich on is no longer there.

Tewari raised the issue during the Zero Hour but his reference to the role of the Prime Minister’s Office prompted Speaker Om Birla to turn off his mic and ask another member to raise his issue, prompting protests from Congress members. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was in the House, then left her seat and led a walkout by her party members.

Tewari earlier said despite reservations expressed by the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission, the government went ahead with the introduction of “This made government corruption official,” he said.

There used to be control over the influence of the rich on earlier, Tewari said, adding this scheme introduced through the 2017 budget made donation anonymous.

People don't know who is the donor, who is the receiver and how much money has been given, he said.

He cited documents received through the RTI Act to make his point.

Under the electoral bonds scheme, the government has offered complete anonymity to those making donations. A donor could now anonymously buy a bond, and deposit it with the political party of his or her choice.

First Published: Thu, November 21 2019. 17:05 IST
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