Freezing Congress accounts at election time a violation of model code: Sachin Pilot

Pilot says bank accounts of the BJP should be frozen instead as the party has received "huge money" through the electoral bonds "scam"

Congress leader Sachin Pilot (file photo)
Congress leader Sachin Pilot (file photo)


Freezing the Congress party's bank accounts at the time of elections is a violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) and unconstitutional, and the poll panel should prevent such a move to save democracy, party leader Sachin Pilot said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur, he said bank accounts of the BJP, and not the Congress, should be frozen as the saffron party has received "huge money" through electoral bonds "scam".

At a press conference in New Delhi, senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi alleged that a systematic effort is underway by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cripple the party financially as the Opposition outfit stepped up its demand for access to its bank accounts to ensure a level playing field in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Pilot, the Congress in-charge for Chhattisgarh, arrived in Raipur on a two-day visit to the state in view of the upcoming elections. "It is well known how the Centre is treating the main Opposition Congress. The acts of sealing Congress' bank accounts, seizing cash from them and deliberately not giving a level playing field to the Congress are all violations of the model code of conduct, morality and the Constitution," he said.

"I request the Election Commission of India (ECI) to immediately take steps and prevent such acts. The biggest festival of democracy is elections. Amid elections, sealing bank accounts of the AICC, Youth Congress and NSUI, and acting with vendetta, amounts to weakening democracy," the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.

The entire country is watching how the Centre has been trying to weaken the Congress, especially during elections, said Pilot, and accused the BJP-led Centre of being "egoistic" and indulging in aggressive politics, warning that if such acts continue, elections will no longer be independent and fair.

"It is the responsibility of the ECI, which is an independent Constitutional body, to prevent such acts," said the former Union minister.

On a question on electoral bonds, Pilot said, "The Supreme Court has declared electoral bonds as unconstitutional. A scam worth thousands of crores of rupees has happened through it. Rahul ji (Congress MP Rahul Gandhi) has said it (the scheme) had become an extortion mechanism. For the first time in the world, such a scam was witnessed in which government institutions like CBI, ED, IT were used."

Pilot said Congress candidates for the remaining five Lok Sabha seats in Chhattsigarh will be declared soon. A fortnight ago, the party named six candidates, including former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel (Rajnandgaon), in the state, which has 11 Lok Sabha seats. Chhattisgarh will vote in three phases on 19 and 26 April and 7 May.

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