‘No political party can run without funds’, Nitin Gadkari supports electoral bonds scheme

Union minister Nitin Gadkari defends the electoral bonds scheme introduced in 2017, now deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, as a necessary tool for political parties to function.

Livemint (with inputs from PTI)
First Published23 Mar 2024
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari(ANI)

‘It's not possible to run a political party without funds’, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the electoral bonds scheme was struck down as “unconstitutional” by the Supreme Court. However, it was started by the central government with a “good intention”, the BJP leader said. 

Gadkari said all political parties need to sit together and deliberate if the Supreme Court gives any further direction on the matter, PTI reported. 

Speaking at an event organized in GIFT City near Gandhinagar on Friday, the minister said, “When Arun Jaitley was (Union finance) minister, I was part of that discussion (regarding electoral bonds). No party can survive without resources.”

"In some countries, governments fund political parties. There is no such system in India. Thus, we chose this system of financing political parties," said Gadkari on a question about electoral bonds," he said. 

The BJP leader also noted the main intention behind introducing electoral bonds was that political parties get funds directly, but the names (of donors) are not disclosed because “problems arise if the party in power changes”. 

Citing an example of a media house, Gadkari said political parties also require funds to run their affairs just like a media organization needs a sponsor to finance an event, as per PTI reports. 

"You need to see the ground reality. How are parties supposed to fight elections? We brought this system of electoral bonds to bring transparency. So, our intention was good when we brought electoral bonds. If the SC finds any shortcomings in it and asks us to rectify it, all parties will sit together and unanimously deliberate on it," he emphasized. 

"In the interest of our country and value-based democracy, everyone needs to find a transparent way (of financing parties). Because without funds, parties can't undertake any activity," Gadkari added. 

Last month, the Supreme Court of India annulled the electoral bonds scheme ahead of the Lok Sabha elections that are scheduled to take place in seven phases beginning from April 19. 

 

(With PTI inputs)

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