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Cong welcomes SC order on electoral bonds, says BJP should reveal 'murky flood of money'

twitter-logoPTI | April 12, 2019 | Updated 20:23 IST

(Eds: Adds more quotes) New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) The Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on electoral bonds and asked the BJP to reveal its "murky flood of money" received through such bonds. The party said it has always maintained that transparency in political funding and governance must be adhered to and free and fair elections in a level-playing field must be ensured, hoping the Supreme Court goes to the root of the matter and opens the sealed envelopes of names of electoral bond donors. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "This so-called corrupt invention of bonds is nothing, but a direct assault on the Indian constitutional basic structure." "The BJP should reveal the murky flood of money, which is earned through the 95 per cent electoral bonds having gone to one party. Financial dominance of the single party decimates the very concept of a level-playing field," he told reporters. Singhvi said a level-playing field is the heart of free and fair elections and such elections are the heart of democracy, which, in turn, is the heart of the basic structure of the Constitution. "To ensure this flow of dirty money in a non-transparent manner by this so-called corrupt invention of bonds is nothing, but, a direct assault on the Indian constitutional basic structure," he said. Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi took a swipe at the BJP and said the judgement would bring out the "nexus" between the ruling party and its "suited-booted friends". "We welcome this judgement coming from the Supreme Court. We have always maintained that transparency in political funding, transparency in governance must be adhered to," she told reporters. Singhvi said the Supreme Court has provided the mechanism through its interim order about resolving the issue of electoral bonds which is in favour of the ruling party, even though it has not quashed it. "The Supreme Court has now said that whatever has been given till now, you will give the names in a sealed cover. The Supreme Court has said that what will be given from now till May, you will also give the names in a sealed cover. "Let me predict between now and May these donations will dry up. These great anonymous names donated generously to one party. Suddenly the generosity will vanish, because now there is a possibility that the sealed cover will be opened in May," he said. The Congress leader said the crux of this design "of Modi, by Modi, for Modi" was to facilitate unanimity to keep names secret, to receive money without names being known and what benefit those names get also remains anonymous. Chaturvedi alleged that the BJP, which came to power on the back of promises such as bringing in transparency in the system, has done nothing towards it. She also alleged that the BJP has undermined the Right to Information and the Central Vigilance Commission and the party is doing everything to suppress transparency in governance. "We hope that the BJP would explain how they got such kind of political funding. We also hope this would expose the nexus between their suited-booted friends and the political party, which has within its five years not given development to this country, but developed a five-star headquarters for itself in Delhi," she said. The Supreme Court on Friday directed all political parties to furnish receipts of political funding received through electoral bonds and details of identity of donors in a sealed cover to the Election Commission. In an interim order, the apex court also directed all political parties to provide details of the amount of the bond and bank account of donors by May 30 to the poll panel. The apex court said it would examine in detail changes made in Income Tax law, electoral law and banking laws to make them in consonance with the electoral bond scheme and ensure balance does not tilt in favour of any political party. PTI SKC SMN

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