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Business News/ Politics / News/  Congress alleges quid-pro-quo between BJP and donors, seeks 'white paper' on party finances
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Congress alleges quid-pro-quo between BJP and donors, seeks 'white paper' on party finances

In the letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal refers to a news report that, according to him, exposes the alleged quid-pro-quo between BJP and several firms, who donated to it, after the ED, IT and CBI raided their enterprises

Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh held a press conference, at AICC headquarters, in New Delhi on Thursday. Party General Secretary KC Venugopal is also seen. (ANI)Premium
Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh held a press conference, at AICC headquarters, in New Delhi on Thursday. Party General Secretary KC Venugopal is also seen. (ANI)

The Congress party has demanded an investigation into the allegations of quid-pro-quo between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its donors who have been raided by investigation agencies. The party is also planning to move court seeking an investigation relying on the news reports published jointly by NewsMinute and Newslaundry.

"You may be aware that a scathing investigative report in the online publications - Newslaundry and The News Minute has exposed the alleged quid-pro-quo between BJP and several firms, who in a strange coincidence donated to it, after the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax Department (IT) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and others, raided/searched those enterprises," KC Venugopal, Congress MP and party's general secretary (Organisation) said in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 23.

The news report, the letter says, is authenticated by several Election Commission documents regarding donation and other robust evidence and hence raises serious questions about the institutional independence and autonomy of the Central agencies – IT, ED, CBI. Two of the three agencies come under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry.

"The entire nation knows how investigative agencies are being remote controlled by your government. This has been testified by the fact that there has been a 4-fold increase in ED cases against politicians since 2014, and 95% of the cases are against the Opposition leaders," Venugopal said.

 

The letter mentions instances that it says seem to be a clear-cut case of legal extortion in the form of donations to the ruling party, by exerting pressure on investigative agencies. Certainly, these are not the only cases where such modus operandi of alleged extortion has taken place. This looks like the tip of the iceberg, it reads.

In one instance, quotes the letter, at least 30 companies, which donated a total of nearly 335 crore to the BJP between 2018-19 and 2022-23, also faced action by central agencies during that period. Of these firms, 23 companies, which gave a total of 187.58 crore to the party during this period, had never donated any amount to the BJP between 2014 and the year of the raid and at least four of these companies donated a total of 9.05 crore within four months of the central agency visit, as mentioned in the letter.

"We are nowhere alleging that the cases filed, or the action taken by the investigating agencies are illegal, but it does warrant an investigation, on why these “dubious" firms who have ED cases against them are donating to the ruling party – BJP, despite ED investigation against them. Is it a mere coincidence that they are donating to the BJP, after ED action?" it reads.

“If you are unwilling to come up with a factual explanation, then are you willing to present yourself for a Supreme Court-monitored investigation in these dubious deals to loot donation for the BJP?" it reads. 

The letter asked the FM if she would come up with a “White Paper" on BJP’s finances, not just the sources, but “how you coerced corporate firms to donate, by misusing investigative agencies against them?"

"We are going to the courts of law and to the court of people. We will defeat you on both sides," reads the letter.

 

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 02:07 PM IST
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