Centre’s Move to Introduce Electoral Bonds Regressive: Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Tuesday said the Centre’s move to introduce electoral bonds was “deeply regressive”, which would make the donor, donee and the amount — each of the three vital aspects — a “State secret”.

In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the government’s move would “shield the donors from the gaze of the electorate, which needs to know if policies are being made precisely because they help some influential donors”.

“The measures you have introduced recently, I regret to say, have reversed any move towards transparent and clean political funding that may have been possible. Electoral bonds are a deeply regressive move which will make the donor, donee and the amount, each of these three vital aspects, a State secret,” he wrote in the letter.

Yechury added that by lifting the maximum limit on companies for political donations, the government had raised the prospect of allowing “shell” companies being set up with black money to fund political parties.

He also warned that such a step was “seriously injurious to the state of our democracy”.

The Left leader said since currently there was no limit on amounts spent by the political parties on poll campaigns, while there was a limit on the amount that candidates could spend, the policy of the government made a mockery of the very idea of having a limit on campaign spending.

He urged the government to “bring the expenditures of the political parties within a legal limit, a violation of which would attract stringent punishment”.

“I urge the government to take new steps which will make our democracy healthier, more transparent and enable a genuine level-playing field, where a common citizen can find it as easy to contest elections as a moneyed man,” the CPI(M) leader wrote in his letter to Jaitley.