Welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision on electoral bonds, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury Friday said the apex court has “demolished” the stand taken by the BJP-led NDA government on the issue.
The Supreme Court Friday did not stop political funding through electoral bonds but brought several checks on it to bring transparency by directing all political parties to furnish receipts of amounts received and details of the 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 to the poll panel by May 30.
“Supreme Court demolishes stance taken by Modi, Jaitley & BJP – which had pushed this as a Money bill, for opaque, secret Electoral bonds. The court says transparency is the basic principle of electoral funding. People have a right to know which party got how much, and from whom,” Yechury tweeted.
The Centre and the Election Commission had taken contrary stands in the Supreme Court on Wednesday over political funding, with the government wanting to maintain the anonymity of donors of electoral bonds and the poll panel batting for revealing names of donors for transparency.
“Anonymity pushed by BJP is on the way out. Donors of black money via this route will be scared to fund from here on. Today EC has the data. Tomorrow the public will also have it,” Yechury wrote on Twitter. The CPI(M) Politburo, later in a statement, claimed that the changes in the law, which was rushed without a proper and comprehensive discussion in the Parliament, was aimed at removing the limits of corporate funding of political parties, particularly at the time of elections, while making it completely anonymous.
“The changes would have made the entire system prone to crony capitalism with a clear basis for quid pro quo with the ruling party. That the government was dead-opposed to making funding transparent was clear from the submission of the Attorney General in the apex court when he said: ‘It is not voters’ concern to know where the money comes from. Transparency cannot be looked as a mantra of the country’,” it stated.
The Politburo said the court’s interim judgment has brought in “some degree of accountability” by making it mandatory for the political parties to place their collection from electoral bonds and the details thereof to the Election Commission by May 30 in a sealed envelope. “The interim order promised that the seriousness of the issue and its bearing on the very nature of our democracy warrants more in-depth examination.
“The Politburo expresses satisfaction that this legal battle, where the CPI(M) itself is a petitioner, has yielded some positive result as of now and also reiterates its resolve to carry on the battle for making electoral funding completely transparent and free of corporate influence towards breaking the corporate-ruling party nexus,” it said.