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'Defeated, dejected and corrupt politicians who are used to black money': BJP slams opposition protest on electoral bond

Congress on Thursday raised the issue of electoral bonds in Lok Sabha, claiming the scheme resulted in money laundering and made corruption "official."

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'Defeated, dejected and corrupt politicians who are used to black money': BJP slams opposition protest on electoral bond
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The ruling BJP on Thursday attacked the Congress over its protest on the issue of electoral bonds, saying that people who are revolting against electoral bonds have grown used to black money and believe in its usage during elections.

Congress had on Thursday raised the issue of electoral bonds in Lok Sabha, claiming the scheme resulted in money laundering and made corruption "official."

Responding to Congress' charge, BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, "This is the alliance of the defeated and dejected corrupt politicians who do not want clean, tax-paid transparent money to fund elections."

"This is the same lobby that had made dubious and wrong charges at the Rafale deal and has been rejected by the people of India. The Supreme Court, too, quashed their false claims," Goyal said at a press conference in Delhi.

In further attack on the Congress, the Commerce and Industry Minister said, "There have been cases earlier of PMs allegedly accepting suitcases of cash, of various scams including Bofors, Jeep, 2G, Coalgate etc. In all of these, it is the Congress which has been involved. It is natural they will oppose a system which is cleaning the electoral process."

Electoral bonds have brought transparency and accountability to the system, he claimed, adding that those who are themselves immersed in corruption are opposing it the most.

"Electoral bonds brought in honest money in electoral politics. People who are revolting against electoral bonds have grown used to black money and believe in its usage during elections," Goyal said.

"The allegations against the government over electoral bonds are baseless. The (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government has, in fact, for the first time, taken a number of steps against corruption," he added.

Congress had on Thursday raised the issue of electoral bonds in Lok Sabha. A ruckus also broke out as Congress leaders stormed the Well of the House chanting slogans. A sharp exchange of words was also witnessed between Congress' leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary and Speaker Om Birla.

Raising the issue during the question hour in Lok Sabha, Congress leader Manish Tewari alleged that the government went ahead with the scheme despite reservations by the Reserve Bank of India.

"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.

"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 alleged before Speaker Om Birla interrupted him and asked him to refrain from mentioning the PMO and called out the next member to speak in the House.

Yesterday, Congress leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had termed the scheme as a 'political bribery scheme' that tarnished the image of the country.

The party is referring to a recent media report, suggesting that the government had ignored warnings by RBI and the Election Commission on the scheme when it was being proposed in 2017.

Under the electoral bonds scheme, complete anonymity is offered to those making donations to a political party. A person can now anonymously buy a bond and deposit it with the party of their choice.

Reacting to this charge, Goyal said the government has been in constant discussion with the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission on the issue. 

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