New Delhi: The fourth day of the Winter Session of the Parliament on Thursday witnessed a fiery debate over electoral bond with the Opposition Congress staging a walkout of the Lok Sabha alleging lack of transparency in electoral bonds. Congress leader Manish Tewari raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and said that the decision has institutionalised ‘government corruption’.

The Congress raised the issue during the Zero Hour after the party protested on the issue in the morning when the Lower House of Parliament met for the day.

“I want to draw the attention of the House towards electoral bonds. The electoral bond scheme was limited to elections. RTI in 2018 revealed that the government overruled Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said in Lok Sabha.

The Congress alleged that despite the warning from the RBI and the Election Commission, the Central government had gone ahead with electoral bonds.

“It has institutionalised government corruption. The name of the donor is not known. The money given is not known. To whom it is given is not known,” Tewari alleged.

After raising serious concerns over the matter, the Congress leaders staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha.

Congress further alleged that the corruption has been covered up through electoral bonds scheme and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had floated a request to issue ‘illegal’ electoral bonds ahead of Karnataka assembly elections in 2018.

“The RTI in 2018 revealed that government overruled Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds. This is a cover-up of corruption by the government,” Tewari said..

He said that before 2017, there was a basic structure in this country. “There was control over the interference of rich people in the country…There is no clarity on donor and their identity. The electoral bond scheme was limited to elections. The irony is on April 11, 2018, PMO had ordered to issue illegal electoral bonds,” Tewari said.

As per standard norms, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. It can be bought either singly or jointly with other individuals.

The standard norm further states that the political parties which are 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 are eligible to receive the electoral bonds.

(With inputs from ANI)