Cong demands reply from PM, HM on electoral bonds

New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The Congress on Sunday demanded a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the electoral bond issue, wondering how a company whose profit is just Rs 20 crore buy electoral bonds worth Rs 400 crore.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, party general secretary Jairam Ramesh asked, “Where did this money come from and whose money is it? The Home Minister has to reply on electoral bonds.”

He alleged that electoral bonds were “clearly a route for money laundering”.

Ramesh said the companies gave crores of rupees to BJP through electoral bonds, by means of “donate and take business, extortion, pay bribe and take contract and create shell company and donate”.

The Congress leader accused the BJP-led government of conducting a ‘surgical strike’ on Congress by freezing its bank accounts and rendering it ‘economically handicapped’ through ‘tax terrorism’.

He said, “We went to the Tribunal but did not get any relief. We went to the High Court and there too we did not get any relief. We will now approach the Supreme Court”.

He also questioned the duration of the Lok Sabha polls saying that seven stages means the Prime Minister gets more time to campaign.

On the Election Commission, the Congress leader said, “The Election Commission is a Constitutional body whose job is to conduct free and fair elections. But for the last 10 months, the leaders of the INDIA alliance have been seeking an appointment with the EC on issue of VVPAT. But we have not been given time.

“We are not against the EVMs but against the Electronic Voting ‘Manipulation’. We just want the VVPAT to be matched 100 percent,” he said.

To a question on ED issuing fresh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Congress leader said, “For the last four to five years, ED has been misused. Opposition parties have been made a scapegoat. ED, CBI and IT are being used by the government, when they see threats from the opposition. These agencies have become BJP’s frontal organisations,” he said.

Ramesh also informed that on Tuesday the party will have a meeting of the Manifesto Working Committee and the manifesto will be released.

He added that the guarantees given by party president Mallikarjun Kharge were from the party manifesto only.

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