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Electoral bond details: SBI trying to cover up ‘misdeeds' of BJP, alleges Congress; threatens to hold protests across India

Congress Social Media and Digital Platforms Chairperson Supriya Shrinate asked why did the SBI ask for more time to provide information only a day before the last date for providing information.
Last Updated 05 March 2024, 06:21 IST

New Delhi: Attacking the Centre over the State Bank of India moving the Supreme Court to seek more time to disclose electoral bond details, Congress on Tuesday accused the SBI of “trying to hide the misdeeds of the BJP” and threatened to hold protests across the country.

Party president Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the Modi government is using the country’s largest bank as a shield to hide its “dubious dealings” through electoral bonds, which is a “black money conversion scheme”.

“Isn't the government conveniently hiding the BJP's shady dealings where contracts of highways, ports, airports, power plants etc. were handed over to PM Narendra Modi's cronies in lieu of these opaque electoral bonds,” he said.

“Experts say that the 44,434 automated data entries of donors can be divulged and matched in just 24 hours. Why does the SBI then need 4 more months to collate this information?...Now a desperate Modi Govt, clutching at straws, is trying to use SBI to bulldoze the Supreme Court's judgement!” he added.

Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal alleged that the SBI is trying to save the “corrupt” BJP government and claimed that the government has "pressured" the SBI to file an application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to provide details.

He told reporters that the Congress will not hesitate to hit the streets to protest against any delay in providing details of electoral bonds.

Addressing a press conference, Congress Social Media and Digital Platforms Chairperson Supriya Shrinate asked why does the country’s largest and fully computerised bank need five months to provide information about electoral bonds.

“The SBI has sought time before the Supreme Court not to give information but to hide the misdeeds of BJP. But people of the country now understand fully well how the truth is being hidden by putting pressure on government agencies and institutions,” she said.

She asked why did the SBI ask for more time to provide information only a day before the last date for providing information.

“The SBI, which operates 48 crore accounts, 66,000 ATMs and 23,000 branches, needs five months to provide information about only 22,217 electoral bonds…Complete information can be extracted in five minutes with one click,” she said.

“The question arises whether the country's largest government bank has now become a means of hiding the financial irregularities of the BJP and the means to conceal source of black money. The question arises whether a political party and a government bank are together defying the decision of the Supreme Court of the country,” she said.

She added, the question also arises whether before the Lok Sabha elections, do people of the country have the right to get correct information and take the right decision during voting.

Shrinate alleged that the BJP has been afraid that as soon as the information about its donor friends became public, its "dishonesty and its unholy nexus with select corporates" would be exposed. 

It was apprehensive that details will be out regarding who was donating, what did he get in return, which laws were made for their benefit, whether investigations were stopped against those who donated, whether threats of investigation were made to collect donations forcibly, she said.

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(Published 05 March 2024, 06:21 IST)

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