On a day when the Supreme Court refused to grant immediate stay on the implementation of the electoral bonds scheme, it has come to the fore that the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has earned more than twice its five rival parties put together through electoral bonds in 2019.
According to a report published by Bloomberg, BJP more than doubled its income to nearly ₹24.10 billion rupees in the financial year that ended in March 2019. This is more than twice that of its five major rivals put together.
Interestingly, as per the report, about two-thirds of the BJP’s income or nearly ₹ 14.50 billion came through electoral bonds. Electoral bonds allow individuals as well as corporations — including those partly owned by foreign entities — to fund political parties anonymously.
While Congress received ₹ 9.18 billion rupees came from electoral bonds, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) received ₹ 1.92 billion rupees through the bonds which is almost half of its total income.
Hearing a petition filed by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), the apex court also sought replies from the EC and the Centre.
Appearing for the NGO, lawyer Prashant Bhushan alleged that the scheme is a means for channelising unaccounted black money in favour of the ruling party. Bhushan also referred to a document of the RBI while seeking stay of the scheme.
“We will see that. We are listing it after two weeks, the Bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the EC, said all these arguments have already been advanced earlier and sought four weeks’ time to reply to the plea of the NGO against the scheme.