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Cong says Govt overruled RBI to introduce electoral bonds, scheme must be scrapped

Congress on the first day of the Winter Session in Parliament allegedly blamed Central Government for overruling RBI. They said BJP Government introduced electoral bonds for their benefit and to enable “black money to enter their BJP coffers” and described the scheme as “opaque” promoting “money laundering”. Congress demanded to scrap the scheme and public the names of the people who bought these bonds.

Congress spokesperson and MP Rajeev Gowda alleged said that the government seeking the RBI’s nod just ahead of the unveiling shows it was done in a “perfunctory” manner and the Central bank’s reservations were dismissed in haste.

Citing media reports and RTI responses, the opposition party alleged said that the government asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its opinion just days before revealing electoral bonds but dismissed the Central bank’s reservations and objections.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attacked the government on the issue, saying that the electoral bonds were “cleared by bypassing RBI” and “dismissing” national security concerns 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 on Twitter.

Addressing a press conference, Congress MP Rajeev Gowda termed the electoral bond scheme “fraudulent” and claimed that it eliminates a level-playing field.

“It is a fraud on the people of India. It is a fraud in the electoral process. It eliminates the level playing field that needs to be there in a true democracy. It brings in opacity and this opacity was objected to by the Election Commission of India,” the Congress MP said.

“The Congress party has opposed the electoral bond scheme because it lacks transparency, it lacks fairness. We demand that the BJP government if it has nothing to hide, must reveal the entities who have bought the bonds and to what extent,” Gowda said.

“We demand that the BJP government explain to the people of India what policy favors, including the selling of public assets to crony capitalists, have taken place as a result of electoral bond transactions,” he said. Gowda alleged said that electoral bonds are worth at least Rs 6,000 crore have been sold since March 2018 and the BJP has earned more than 95% of the money.

Congress also demands the immediate scrapping of the electoral bond scheme which even the RBI and the EC have questioned because it is opaque and is a “money-laundering scheme”. We demand an inquiry into how the finance ministry took decisions to overrule the RBI to establish this corruption-inducing scheme and we urge the government to come clean,” Gowda added.

“RTI reveals how ‘electoral bonds’ became instruments of anonymous donations bordering on opaque ‘money laundering’,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.

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