PM Modi Asserts Confidence in Electoral Bonds, Critics Will “Soon Regret,” Supreme Court Ruling Challenges Scheme’s Legality

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By Sunil Chaudhary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has staunchly defended the controversial electoral bond scheme, asserting that those criticizing its use will “soon regret it.” His remarks come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on February 15th, which struck down the electoral bond scheme, implemented in 2018, deeming it unconstitutional.

Critics Regret

PM Modi Asserts Confidence in Electoral Bonds, Critics Will "Soon Regret," Supreme Court Ruling Challenges Scheme's Legality

During an interview with Thanti TV in Tamil Nadu, broadcasted on Sunday, Modi emphasized the significance of electoral bonds in providing transparency regarding the source of funding for political parties. He remarked, “Before 2014, there was no trail of funds given to political parties during elections. I introduced the electoral bonds. Thanks to the electoral bonds, we can now trace the source of funding.”

Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict invalidating the electoral bond scheme and mandating disclosure of all bond transactions by the State Bank of India and Election Commission of India from April 2019 onwards, Modi remained resolute. He acknowledged imperfections in the scheme but expressed confidence in addressing them, stating, “Nothing is perfect, imperfections can be addressed.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling was welcomed by opposition parties and civil society activists, who had long criticized the lack of transparency and accountability in political funding facilitated by electoral bonds. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had been the primary beneficiary of funds through this mechanism in previous election cycles, faced immediate scrutiny.

In addition to defending electoral bonds, Modi addressed the recent rift between the BJP and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu. He characterized the AIADMK’s decision to sever ties with the BJP as their “loss,” emphasizing the strength of their former alliance.

Modi attributed the AIADMK’s dissatisfaction to internal disagreements, particularly blaming Tamil Nadu BJP chief K. Annamalai for the strained relations. The AIADMK’s departure from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance last year marked a significant shift in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape.

Responding to critics who suggest his actions are solely driven by electoral considerations, Modi highlighted his commitment to regional development. He cited his extensive visits to northeastern states, surpassing those of all former prime ministers combined, as evidence of his broader objectives beyond electoral success.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unwavering support for electoral bonds amidst legal challenges underscores his determination to maintain the scheme despite criticism. The Supreme Court’s ruling has raised questions about the transparency and legality of political funding, prompting a broader debate on electoral finance reform

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