Jairam Ramesh lists 4 ways BJP misused power to get funds

The Congress on Sunday said that prime minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah are answerable for the ‘Electoral Bond scam’

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  17 March 2024 12:13 PM GMT
Jairam Ramesh lists 4 ways BJP misused power to get funds

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday said that prime minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah are answerable for the ‘Electoral Bond scam’ as they controlled everything and also because the maximum benefit had gone to the BJP only.

The party accused the BJP of resorting to tax terrorism and a surgical strike on Congress by freezing the party’s accounts ahead of the general elections.

The party hoped that the Election Commission of India would prevail, observe complete impartiality and live up to the constitutional expectations people have of it.

‘Centre misusing power’

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress general secretary in charge of Communications, Jairam Ramesh said that it was the biggest extortion racket ever run by the prime minister and the home minister.

Dismissing the charges levelled by the home minister that Congress also got the donations, he pointed out, that the CBI, the ED or the Income Tax are not under the control of the Congress. “Nor does the party have the authority to award big contracts like those of ports, highways and power projects,” he added while pointing out how the BJP used the agencies and power to generate a whopping Rs 6,000 crore donations through Electoral Bonds.

‘BJP extorted companies through raids’

Ramesh said, there were four ways the BJP resorted to, to extort money to fill its coffers.

First, he said, was ‘chanda do, dandda lo’ (give donations and get work). Under this, big companies were made to pay hefty donations to the BJP and given big contracts later.

Second, he said it was like ‘hafta vasuli’ (extortion) where the investigating agencies like the ED, the Income Tax and the CBI were let loose on companies and forced to pay donations to the BJP. He quoted the example of Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma which was first subjected to ED investigation and later let off after it purchased electoral bonds.

The third way, he said, was a direct bribe for getting work done. He disclosed that even a BJP MP himself was made to buy the electoral bond instead of a contract he got.

The fourth method, Ramesh said, was setting up shell companies. He pointed out, that these companies have been found to have purchased electoral bonds worth much more than their total worth.

Without mentioning the name of the Adani group, the Congress general secretary remarked that he was surprised not to find ‘one particular name’. But, he added, then he realised that since it is an ‘in-house’ company, it won’t need to be subjected to extortion.

Tax terrorism

Alleging that the BJP had resorted to tax terrorism and surgical strike on the Congress trying to handicap it financially, he pointed out, on the one hand, it had amassed Rs 6,000 crores through electoral bonds and on the other hand had frozen the bank accounts of the Congress.

On the Model Code of Conduct, he hoped that the ECI would act impartially and treat everybody equally. He hoped that the complaints against the prime minister and home minister would also be taken note of the way EC takes note of the complaints against the opposition parties and leaders.

‘Election schedule made to favour BJP’

Replying to a question on such a long electoral schedule, he remarked, this appears to have been done to facilitate the prime minister to campaign everywhere.

He reiterated his party’s demand that there should be a 100 per cent count of the VVPAT slips. He clarified that the Congress party does not demand going back to paper ballots, it only wants a 100 per cent count of the VVPAT slips so that voters’ confidence is restored.

Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

On the successful conclusion of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Ramesh said it had covered 106 districts after travelling a distance of 6,300 km. He said, along with the Bharat Jodo Yatra earlier in which 76 districts were covered, Gandhi has walked through 181 districts and reached out to lakhs of people.

He said, concluding the Nyay Yatra at the Chaityabhoomi, Mumbai, the memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar was the befitting tribute to the architect of the Constitution of India particularly at a time when demands are being raised to change this constitution.

CWC meeting on March 19

The Congress general secretary also announced that the CWC meeting will be held on March 19 which will discuss the party manifesto.

He said the Congress party will fight the election on the issue of ‘Five Nyays’ (five types of justice) including the Bhagidari Nyay, Kisan Nyay, Nari Nyay, Shramik Nyay and Yuva Nyay with 25 guarantees, five each for each Nyay which have been already announced by the Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Rahul Gandhi.

“These are the guarantees by the Congress party and not by a single person,” he remarked in an obvious jibe at the prime minister who has been claiming to provide ‘Modi ki guarantee’.

To a question on ED summons to Arvind Kejriwal, he said, the BJP has used the investigating agencies against the opposition leaders. He said, that instead of acting as statutory bodies, the ED, the CBI and the I-T department had ended up as frontal organisations of the BJP.

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