Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday launche a salvo on the Narendra Modi government over reports that it overruled the Reserve Bank to introduce electoral bonds to enable "black money to enter the BJP coffers" and demanded the scheme be scrapped immediately. "In 'New' India, bribes & illegal commissions are called Electoral Bonds," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.
Earlier, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had also slammed the Centre over the issue. Priyanka alleged that the Modi government bypassed the RBI and "dismissed" the national security concerns to enable black money to enter into the BJP pockets via electoral bonds.
"Electoral bonds were cleared by by-passing RBI and dismissing National security concerns in order to enable black money to enter the BJP coffers. It appears that while the BJP was elected on the promise of eradicating black money it was busy lining its own pockets with exactly that! What a shameful betrayal of the Indian people," she said.
According to reports, the Reserve Bank had opposed the Modi government’s move to allow electoral bonds to secretly pay money to political parties. However, then finance minister Arun Jaitley reportedly overruled the central bank and announced the scheme in his budget speech.
Addressing a press conference over the issue, the Congress party demanded an inquiry into how the Jaitley-led Finance Ministry took the decision on electoral bonds despite RBI and the Election Commisison’s objections.
"We demand an inquiry into how the Finance Ministry took decisions to usher in this corruption-inducing scheme overruling the objections of the RBI and ECI. If the government has nothing to hide let it come clean and reveal this information," senior Congress leader Rajeev Gowda said.
An electoral bond is a secretive way to channel money to political parties. According to the data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms, electoral bonds worth at least Rs 6,000 crore have been sold since March 2018. The data also revealed that the ruling BJP was the biggest beneficiary of the electoral bonds and has reportedly received 95 per cent of the money from the first tranche.