MUMBAI: Taking a dig at the ongoing visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Maharashtra Congress has said that the visiting dignitary’s ‘Governance Model’ vis-a-vis the corporates is already functional in India.
In a statement, state Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that under President Putin, the Russian businessmen have been following three ‘cardinal rules’ in that country.
“These are: No donations to Opposition, No Criticism of Government and No support to Opposition… In India, these same conditions are being adhered to by the corporates,” claimed Sawant in a series of tweets.
Citing the latest Prudent Electoral Trust (PET) financials submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) last week, the Congress leader said that it has donated a staggering 95.64 per cent only to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, while the rest — a paltry 4.36 per cent — went to the Opposition kitty.
Elaborating, Sawant said of the total dole of Rs 245.70 crore in 2020-2021, the PET donated Rs 209 crore to BJP, and to its two allies — Rs 25 crore for Janata Dal (United), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Rs 1 crore to Lok Janshakti Party led by Union Minister P.K. Paras, with the three parties cornering the lion’s share of the corporate donations.
On the other hand, the country’s main Opposition party, Indian National Congress got just Rs 2 crore, with a ditto amount for Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
However, the Congress ally, both in the UPA and in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party got Rs 5 crore, but its rival Aam Aadmi Party led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal secured Rs 1.70 crore.
“All other parties were ignored by the PET… In the past few years, corporate donations to Opposition parties dropped drastically but have gone up phenomenally for the ruling BJP and its allies,” Sawant pointed out.
He contended that the Electoral Bonds were devised with the intention to starve the Opposition parties of corporate fundings, but “when there’s no level playing field, democracy can’t be in a good shape.”
“The Modi Government’s celebration of Constitution Day was a hypocritical act as it has itself undermined both Democracy and the Constitution,” Sawant said sharply.
Interestingly, others like Janata Nirvachak Electoral Trust, ABG Electoral Trust, Triumph Electoral Trust and New Democratic Electoral Trust have declared ‘nil’ contributions to any political party for the period 2020-2021. — IANS