NGO recommends scrapping of ‘Electoral Bonds’ for fair elections

New Delhi: The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO has called for scrapping Electoral Bonds which violate the citizens’ fundamental ‘Right to Know’ by withholding crucial information regarding the sources of funding.

He said, “Such opaqueness is at the cost of larger public interest and a severe blow to the very fundamentals of transparency and accountability. Therefore, the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018 should be entirely scrapped.”

They have demanded that all national and regional political parties must provide all information on the funds received through Electoral Bonds under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Full details of all donors should also be made available for public scrutiny.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the ADR, an NGO alleged that the scheme is a means to channelize unaccounted black money in favour of the ruling party.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shown an income of Rs 2,410 crore in 2018-2019 financial year of which Rs 1, 451 crore were received through Electoral Bonds. At the same time the Congress received Rs 918 crore income of which Rs 383 crore were through the Electoral Bonds, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in its 2018-2019 financial year report.

A Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that most of the political funding came through Electoral Bonds during last year’s Lok Sabha polls.

While the BJP has received nearly 75% of the money through electoral bond, the Congress got a paltry 20% via that route.

When the proposal of Electoral Bonds was made the Reserve Bank of India said it would set a bad precedent. It also said the EB would in violation of the RBI Act.

The central bank further said that EB would set a “bad precedent” by encouraging money laundering.

The process would undermine the faith in Indian banknotes and erode core principle of central banking legislation. Further, it would also affect the transparency of the voting.