Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Modi govt using SBI as shield to hide dubious dealings”: Kharge on SBI plea on electoral bonds

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that Union government was using the “largest bank of our country as a shield to hide its dubious dealings through electoral bonds”.

Kharge and other leaders have been alleging that the State Bank of India was trying to protect the Union government, after the bank requested an extension in deadline from the Supreme Court to disclose information relating to electoral bonds.

Kharge said that the BJP was the “main beneficiary” of the scheme.

“Isn’t the Modi Govt conveniently hiding BJP’s shady dealings where contracts of highways, ports, airports, power plants etc were handed over to Modi ji’s cronies in lieu of these opaque electoral bonds?” Kharge asked in a post on X.

The Congress chief also said that the data can be disclosed in 24 hours according to experts.

“Why does the SBI then need 4 more months, to collate this information?” he asks.

Kharge said that the Union government had “bulldozed” every institution.

“Now a desperate Modi Govt, clutching on straws, is trying to use SBI to bulldoze the Supreme Court’s judgement!” he alleged.

The top court had on February 15 struck down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional, saying that it could lead to quid pro quo arrangements between donors and political parties. The court had also directed the State Bank of India to issue details of the political parties that received electoral bonds from April 12, 2019, and submit them to the Election Commission by March 6.

On Monday, the SBI sought an extension till June 30 from the top court to provide the information to the Election Commission.

“When the Supreme Court has said it is the right of citizens to know the truth about electoral bonds, why does the State Bank of India want that this information should not become public before the elections?” asked former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

According to Gandhi, this was the “last attempt” to hide Modi’s “true face” ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday asked whether the bank was seeking an extension till after the elections to protect the prime minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party from “exposure of the ‘quid pro quo’ that the Hon’ble Supreme Court apprehended.”

Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale said that the State Bank of India was “lying on Modi’s orders.”

“Clearly SBI is working on Modi’s directions,” he said. “This means that, all along for the last 7 years, Modi & BJP had access to the names of all donors to other political parties thanks to their control over SBI. While NO ONE knew who donated to the BJP.”

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