A day after Congress extended unconditional support to AAP in Delhi,Union minister Manish Tewari disagreed with the party’s stand today,saying it should not have supported the fledgling outfit at all.
“I do not think we should have done it at all… We ruled for 15 years for good,bad or ugly. People have rejected us. We should accept the verdict in all humility,” he said,adding that it was time for Congress to introspect.
Tewari,however,stressed that it was his personal opinion and he was not speaking for the party.
Speaking at a debate on NDTV,he said it was really between BJP and AAP,who have emerged as the two largest parties in Delhi,to find ways to form a government.
He also said time might have come for election funding reforms to account for every rupee political parties receive.
“We (parties) comply with the law as it stands today. Yes if there is a deficiency in law,there is a need that it possibly does not inspire confidence because of its opaqueness,lets go ahead and change the law,” he said.
Senior advocate and APP leader Prashant Bhushan accused big national parties of maintaining secrecy about their funding.
He claimed big parties take illegal donations from private firms and then reward them with contracts in states ruled by them.
BJP treasurer Pirush Goyal said right from the candidate fighting the election to hundreds of local units collect money and an auditing is done.
Both Tewari and Goyal said there was no simplistic solution to this complex issue of campaign finance.
Present laws allow parties to not account for donations up to Rs 20,000 and critics say they exploit this provision to pass off large sums of money collected from private companies and others as unaccounted by dividing them into many donations under the limit.
This has been one of the central planks of AAP campaign,which has maintained transparency about its funding,its success seems to have made bigger parties more amenable to stricter legal provisions.
“Should the law be amended,I will be absolutely delighted to make sure that every person who donate… their names and address is taken,” Goyal said.
Derek O’Brien of Trinmool Congress said his party was all for state funding with corporate firms being allowed to donate a certain percentage of it through a corpus.
The future of AAP also came into debate with Goyal saying that its appeal is confined to urban areas even within the capital. It remains to be seen to what frontiers they can expand,he said,adding that its success was largely restricted to central Delhi.
The silence of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over the SC judgement on Section 377 was also questioned but Goyal said he does not have to comment on every SC decision and the party has already make its stand clear.
To a specific query posed by noted author Vikram Seth asking if BJP thinks “private adult consensual love making is wrong”,Goyal said we shall let you know.