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Congress raised electoral bond issue in LS, staged walkout amid uproar

An adjournment motion was moved by the Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, accusing the centre over the issue.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Congress along with some other opposition parties on Thursday staged a walkout of Lok Sabha alleging that there is a lack of transparency in the electoral bonds and termed it as a big scam.

As the House assembled for the day, an adjournment motion was moved by the Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, accusing the centre over the issue.

“The country is being looted through the scheme. It is a big scam. The issue is serious and we have given an adjournment notice,” said Chowdhury.

He also alleged that treasury benches had not allowed the House to function when they were in opposition and had made allegations against the UPA government over coal block allocations.

The Congress leaders protested on the issue during the Question Hour and trooped near the Speaker’s podium.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked the protesting members to go to their seats and raise the issue during the Zero Hour by saying that the Question Hour is important as all members want to raise their issues.

He further warned that, “no member should speak to the Chair from the Well of the House.”

Pralhad Joshi Parliamentary Affairs Minister also asked the Congress leaders to allow the functioning of the House.

Later Congress MP Manish Tewari raised the issue in Zero Hour and mentioned the adjournment motion over electoral bonds issue.

While speaking on the issue, Tewari said, “Since February 1, 2017 when this government moved to issue a proposal to issue unknown electoral bonds during common budget, it was an attempt to cover up corruption. When the scheme was implemented, it was limited only to the Lok Sabha elections.”

“As per a RTI in 2018, government overruled Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds. Firstly when the scheme was limited to the Lok Sabha elections. But before the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections, the PMO had floated a request for window to be opened for electoral bonds,” he added.

The speaker disallowed Tewari when he tried to raise the question over the Prime Minister’s Office mentioning any incident before Karnataka elections.

Miffed on this, the Congress members walked out of the House raising slogans against the government.

Speaker Om Birla continued the Zero Hour as he declared that he has disallowed the adjournment motion moved by the Congress.

Earlier on Wednesday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government over the electoral bonds scheme during a press conference. He called the scheme a ‘conspiracy’.

Electoral bonds was introduced to bring the transparency of the funding to the political parties for the election. A citizen of India can purchase the electoral bond either jointly or alone.

Those political parties which are registered under Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and secured not less than one per cent of vote in the last general elections are eligible to receive the electoral bonds.

The bonds could be encashed by the political parties only through a bank account with the authorized bank.