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PM Modi blames opposition for spreading lies on electoral bonds scheme: 'Everyone will regret it...'

The electoral bonds scheme, introduced by the government on January 2, 2018, was presented as a substitute for cash contributions to political parties, aiming to enhance transparency in political funding. However, it has been struck down by the Supreme Court.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2024 22:27 IST
PM Modi interview, PM Modi on electoral bonds scheme
Image Source : ANI Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to criticism from opposition parties regarding the electoral bonds scheme, emphasizing that he never claimed the decision was flawless. Further, he accused the opposition of spreading lies about the scheme, which has been invalidated by the Supreme Court, and warned that everyone would regret it upon honest reflection. In an interview with ANI, PM Modi defended the electoral bonds scheme, stating its primary objective was to combat black money in elections, and accused the opposition of making allegations without facing accountability. 

On electoral bonds scheme

In his first detailed response to the electoral bonds scheme, the Prime Minister provided insight into the distribution of donations by companies following actions taken by probe agencies. PM Modi revealed that out of the 16 companies under scrutiny, 37 per cent of the donations went to the BJP, while 63 per cent went to opposition parties. Expressing concern over the influence of "black money" in elections, he cautioned that this trend would lead to regret for all involved. Speaking further, PM Modi emphasized that the scheme has unveiled the trail of contributions to political parties. He also acknowledged the potential for improvement within the scheme. 

On intention behind electoral bonds scheme

"There has been ongoing discourse in our country regarding the pervasive influence of black money in elections. The play of black money in the country's elections ends, this discussion has been going on for a long time. Money is spent in elections; no one can deny this. My party also spends, all parties, candidates spend and money has to be taken from people. I wanted we try something, how can our elections be free from this black money, how can there be transparency? There was a pure thought in my mind. We were looking for a way. We found a small way, we never claimed that this was the absolute way," he said. He said there was debate in Parliament on the electoral bonds scheme when the relevant bill was passed and some of those who are now commenting on it had supported it.

PM Modi lambasts opposition

PM Modi also attacked the opposition for spreading lies over electoral bonds and said of the 3,000 companies that gave donations through the scheme, 26 faced action by probe agencies such as ED. He said of these 26 companies, there were 16 who took electoral bonds when they faced action. "Of these (16 companies) 37 per cent of the amount went to BJP and 63 per cent to opposition parties opposed to BJP. "There is an ED raid... the work of donating to the opposition, will BJP do this? This means 63 per cent of this amount went to the opposition and you are making allegations against us. Their goal is to keep skirting around and run away," he said.

SC scraps electoral bonds

In February this year, the Supreme Court ruled the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional, prompting criticism from I.N.D.I.A Bloc parties against the BJP-led government during their election campaigns. Following the court's decision, the Supreme Court directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to cease issuing electoral bonds. In compliance, the Election Commission of India published electoral bonds data on its official website, as provided by the SBI under the court's instructions.

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