Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the abolition of the electoral bonds scheme has pushed the country towards black money and everyone will come to regret it with time.

In February, the Supreme Court held the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional. The scheme was introduced by the Modi government in 2018 with the stated objective of bringing transparency in political funding.

In an interview with ANI, Modi said that the fact that a money trail has emerged from the details of the scheme published out of the SC proceedings is the proof of the success of the scheme.

Modi said that there can be deficiencies in the government's decision-making and the scheme could have been improved.

"It is very possible to improve in this too, but today we have completely pushed the country towards black money. That is why I say everyone will regret it. When they think honestly later, everyone will regret it," said Modi.

Under the electoral bonds scheme, the public or the Election Commission of India (ECI) did not know the identity of the donors. Only the State Bank of India (SBI), which was the only authorised entity to issue the bonds, was aware of the identity via the know your customer (KYC) process. The critics said that this anonymity brought in opacity in political funding.

Modi also refuted the Opposition's allegations that the donations under the electoral bonds scheme were used by companies under investigation.

"Across the country, a total of 3,000 companies donated electoral bonds. Of these 3,000 companies, 26 were such against which action has been taken...Of these 26, a total of 16 companies were such that purchased bonds when they were being raided...The bonds that these 16 companies purchased, BJP has 37% of that amount, 63% to the opposition," said Modi.

Following the interview, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the scheme "extortion" and said Modi was giving interviews because he had been "caught".

"If you see the names and dates you will know that when they (donors) gave the electoral bond, right after that contract was given to them or CBI inquiry was withdrawn against them. Pradhan Mantri pakade gaye hain isiliye ANI ko interview de rahe hain. This is the biggest extortion scheme of the world and PM Modi is the mastermind of it," said Rahul, as per a video shared by ANI.

2024-04-15T18:32:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd