Congress terms electoral bonds 'corrupt', calls for setting up of national election fund
Raipur (Chhattisgarh): The Congress party has criticised the concept of electoral bonds, describing it as "fundamentally flawed" and "completely corrupt", media reported.
At the ongoing All India Congress Committee (AICC) plenary in Raipur, the party on Saturday proposed the establishment of a national election fund that would be funded by contributions from the public.
“The present system of electoral bonds is fatally flawed and fully corrupt. Congress will set up a national election fund to which all may contribute. During elections, funds will be allocated to political parties using transparent and fair criteria laid down by law,” the political resolution being discussed at the AICC plenary said, reported Indian Express.
The report by the Indrajit Gupta Committee in 1998, considered the beginning of debates on the subject of state funding, recommended financial support from the government to candidates belonging to officially recognised political parties.
In 2020, the government told Parliament that the Election Commission has conveyed that it does not support the idea of state funding as it would not be able to prevent or regulate the spending of candidates themselves or of other parties beyond the amount allotted by the state.
The political resolution of the Congress also talks about Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). “More than 14 recognised political parties, several eminent activists, and computer scientists have raised concerns on the efficacy of EVMs to the Election Commission, but have not received any response so far.”
It further said: “When voters lose faith in the integrity of the electoral process, especially EVMs, our democracy hollows from within. The Congress promises to restore the faith of every voter in the integrity of the electoral process.”
“The Congress will build the widest possible consensus with all like-minded political parties to take up the issue with ECI, and if they do not respond, then go to Court,” it added.
During the 2018 AICC plenary meeting held in New Delhi, the Congress party had advocated for a shift back to the use of paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines.