Rs 1,716 Cr of Controversial Electoral Bonds Sold in Just 2 Months

A whopping Rs 1,716 crores’ worth of electoral bonds were sold in just two months, January and March 2019, by the State Bank of India. It seems that now the maximum amount of political donation is being made through electoral bonds, which the Election Commission of India (EC) itself termed a ‘retrograde step’.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on 25 March, the EC has said that electoral bonds will have serious repercussions on transparency in political funding.

In an RTI reply to Vihar Durve, accessed by The Quint, the SBI has said that in just two months in 2019, electoral bonds worth Rs 1716,05,14,000 were sold in 14 cities.

Whereas, over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 1056,73,42,000 crore) worth of bonds were sold in 2018 (March, April, May, July, October and November).

“Sale of electoral bonds worth over Rs 1,716 crores in just two months in contrast to Rs 1,056 crores in the full preceding year, unambiguously shows the impact this huge amount of money from completely unknown sources will have on the currently on-going election. Money, and that too from completely unknown sources, playing such a critical role in elections is not good for democracy in the country. Complete opacity in electoral financing therefore must be stopped.”

Indeed, in an election year, one can expect political donations of this amount. But the worrisome part is that a huge amount of these donations are coming through the ‘anonymous and non-transparent’ electoral bonds.In fact, the Modi government’s claims that electoral bonds will keep the donors anonymous is also misleading. A series of articles by The Quint has exposed that the electoral bonds contain unique alphanumeric hidden numbers that are invisible to the naked eye, but visible under ultra-violet light. This unique number helps the Modi government to secretly track those making donations through bonds, and find out who they have donated to.

 

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