Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightOppositions slam SBI...

Oppositions slam SBI on Electoral Bond, say sought more time to shield Modi Govt

Oppositions slam SBI on Electoral Bond, say sought more time to shield Modi Govt

Opposition parties have criticised the State Bank of India over its request in the Supreme Court seeking more time to submit a report disclosing all information regarding electoral bonds, after the apex court deemed the bonds unconstitutional. Opposition leaders accused the SBI of seeking more time to protect the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre.

The Supreme Court, on February 15, had declared the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional, expressing concerns about potential quid pro quo arrangements between donors and political parties.

The court had directed the SBI to reveal details of political parties that received electoral bonds from April 12, 2019, to the Election Commission by March 6.

On Monday, the public sector bank filed an application seeking an extension until June 30 to provide the information, triggering accusations from Opposition leaders that the SBI is attempting to shield the Narendra Modi-led Central government.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to social media, questioning why the bank needed an extension for information that he claimed is readily available. He emphasized the Supreme Court's assertion that citizens have a right to know the truth about electoral bonds and accused the SBI of attempting to keep this information under wraps before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi labelled this as the "last attempt" to conceal Modi's "true face."

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Union government of using the country's largest banks as a shield to hide dubious dealings through electoral bonds. He specifically pointed fingers at the BJP, labelling them as the "main beneficiary" of the scheme. Kharge questioned whether the Modi government was concealing opaque dealings involving contracts for highways, ports, airports, power plants, etc., in exchange for electoral bonds.

Kharge further criticized the SBI, stating that experts claim the data could be disclosed within 24 hours. He questioned why the bank required an additional four months to collate this information and accused the government of attempting to use the SBI to bulldoze the Supreme Court's judgment.

Sitaram Yechury, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), echoed similar sentiments, questioning whether the bank's request for an extension was aimed at protecting the prime minister and the BJP from exposure of the 'quid pro quo' mentioned by the Supreme Court. He termed it a potential travesty of justice.

Saket Gokhale, a leader from the Trinamool Congress, accused the State Bank of India of lying on Modi's orders. Drawing a comparison to the promptness with which banks provide records during Enforcement Directorate arrests, Gokhale questioned why the SBI couldn't produce electoral bond records within the stipulated time. He alleged that the bank had all the necessary systems to do so quickly and suggested that the delay was indicative of the SBI working on Modi's directions.

In its application for an extension, the State Bank of India revealed that 22,217 electoral bonds were issued between April 12, 2019, and February 15, 2024. The bank cited the decentralized nature of information, with details not centrally maintained, as the reason for needing more time. The bonds, deposited at the SBI's headquarters in Mumbai by authorized branches, require decoding, compiling, and comparing 44,400 sets of information organized in two separate silos.

Electoral bonds, introduced by the BJP-led Union government in 2018, allowed citizens and corporate groups to purchase interest-free bonds from the SBI and donate them to political parties without disclosing their identity. The scheme had faced criticism for lack of transparency, with concerns raised about the potential for undisclosed influence on political parties.

As the controversy surrounding the electoral bonds disclosure deepens, the Opposition parties are intensifying their accusations against the State Bank of India, alleging collusion with the government to protect sensitive information that could impact the upcoming elections

Show Full Article
TAGS:BJPSBIElectoral BondState Bank of India
Next Story