New Delhi: Calling electoral bonds a “big scam”, the Congress along with some opposition parties on Thursday alleged during Lok Sabha proceedings that there is “lack of transparency” in the scheme, and staged a walkout on the issue.
The matter was raised by the Congress soon after the House assembled for the day with its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury announcing that his party has moved an adjournment motion over the issue.
Chowdhury accused the Centre over electoral bonds issue, saying “the country is being looted through the scheme. It is a very big scam. The issue is serious and we have given an adjournment notice.”
Referring to treasury benches, he said they 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 members protested on the issue during Question Hour and trooped near the Speaker’s podium.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla intervened and asked the protesting members to go to their seats and raise the issue during Zero Hour, reiterating “Question Hour is important as all members want to raise their issues.”
Birla also warned that “no member should speak to the Chair from the well of the House”.
“I am a new member of the House and want to maintain its dignity. I will give you opportunity after Question Hour,” he told Congress members.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi also asked the Congress leaders to allow the functioning of the House and raise their issues during Zero Hour.
Congress MP Manish Tewari raised the issue in Zero Hour and mentioned about the adjournment motion over electoral bonds issue.
“Since February 1, 2017 when this government moved 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,” Tewari said.
As Tewari was not allowed to speak by the Speaker when he tried to raise questions over the Prime Minister’s Office mentioning any incident before Karnataka elections, the Congress members walked out of the House raising slogans against the government.
Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had on Wednesday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre over the electoral bonds scheme during a press conference, calling the scheme a “conspiracy”.
Electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either alone or jointly with other individuals.
Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state shall be eligible to receive the electoral bonds.
The bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank.
Birla continued Zero Hour as earlier he declared that he has disallowed the adjournment motion moved by the Congress.
The adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure which, if admitted, leads to setting aside the normal business of the House for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.