Congress leader Kapil Sibal today attacked the ruling BJP and said they have institutionalised corruption by facilitating political funding through electoral bonds.
"The government planned the electoral bond scheme in 2017. There was a restriction that applied earlier which limited companies to give funds only up to 15 per cent of their profit."
"In the Finance Act 2017, while the electoral bonds were floated, the limit was removed by Arun Jaitley, the then Finance Minister. So, when the 2019 elections took place, there was no limit to the companies funding the political parties. 95 per cent of the electoral bond funding went to the BJP. It is institutionalized corruption," Mr Sibal said.
Replying to the allegation by the BJP that Congress is immersed in corruption and that is the reason why it is seeing foul play in the electoral bond scheme, Mr Sibal said,"What is an electoral bond? Electoral bond is a facility to pay money to the political parties by the private companies in a non-transparent way. The RBI and Election Commission objected to it and they are not part of the Congress party."
Earlier yesterday, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, "Only those who are opposing the electoral bonds believe in black money and have become habitual of using it in the elections from the past several years."
"This is the alliance of defeated and the dejected corrupt politicians who do not want clean tax paid transparent money to fund election processes," Mr Goyal said in a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951), and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state are eligible to receive the electoral bonds.
The bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with an authorized bank.
Congress party on Thursday had alleged that corruption has been covered up through the electoral bonds scheme and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had floated a request to issue "illegal" electoral bonds ahead of Karnataka assembly elections in 2018.