With Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections around the corner, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati came under the Enforement Directorate (ED) scanner after the agency detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the party and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Anand Kumar, Mayawati’s brother.
According to reports, the ED said that the accounts had been detected in a branch of the United Bank of India (UBI) in the national capital.
Following the row over party fund, Mayawati today called a press conference and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of “misusing its official machinery and trying to malign the image of her party.”
Lashing out at the Centre, she said, “We have deposited the money collected as party funds honestly in the bank account. We have account of every rupee deposited in bank, but what about deposits by BJP.”
Though the ED claimed that during their routine survey and enquiry operations to check huge cash deposits, they found huge deposits were made in these two accounts after demonetisation, it is hard to believe that this ‘surprise finding’ isn’t connected with the upcoming UP elections.
Also read: BJP can’t tolerate a Dalit daughter’s good work, says Mayawati after crores found in BSP account
The ED discovery has come as a huge shock for Mayawati especially when political parties are in election mode. There’s no denying that the BSP supremo hasn’t been accused of corrupt activities earlier, but it seems that this time it is a ‘political vendetta’ against her since the BSP is a key player in the elections.
“Is the BJP afraid of contesting fair elections?”
First of all, those who were left surprised after knowing that ‘a whopping amount 104 crores’ was in BSP’s account, take a deep breath. After all, Rs 104 crores isn’t a big amount when talking about the political parties.
UP elections are being seen as a litmus test for BJP, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision of demonetisation.
At a time, when BJP is facing flak from all corners of the country over the demonetisation move, it is quite easy for the saffron brigade “to use government machinery for its hidden agenda i.e. to target rival parties for winning big in the crucial UP Assembly polls.”
(Courtesy: YouTube/Solution Point)
Also, before judging Mayawati or BSP for this money in the party account, what we should really look out for is that this was not an amount which was found stashed away in homes or lockers. This was an amount deposited in the bank after demonetisation. It should not be made a political issue.
‘CBI and ED have always been misused by ruling parties’
We have all been hearing for years that the Central Bureau of Investigation should be independent. The CBI reports directly to the Prime Minister and every government, every ruling party “misuses the CBI for threatening or arm-twisting other parties.”
A few instances are as follows:
- The Supreme Court had directed the CBI that the status report on the coal scam should not be shared with anybody except the court but still the then Law Minister had made changes in it.
- It is alleged that during Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure, they did not have a majority. So CBI was used to sustain their majority in the Parliament.
- In 2012, the Congress was accused of using the CBI for arm-twisting it into supporting the quota in promotion bill. There was allegedly a conspiracy to trap the SP supremo in the CBI net for not extending support on the FDI and quota in promotions bill.
- In 2015, Mayawati had claimed that the decision to question her four years after the NRHM scam came to light was a political vendetta against her.
(Courtesy: YouTube/Zee News)
BSP chief Mayawati had accused the BJP of misusing the CBI after the agency decided to question her in the multi-crore NRHM scam nearly four years after it surfaced.
‘BSP need not worry about Rs 104 crore in its account’
Now, you might be thinking why the BSP shouldn’t worry about the Rs 104 crore in its account. So here’s the catch:
Political parties are required to disclose donations only of amounts higher than Rs 20,000. However, they are neither required to maintain the details, nor required to disclose to the commission, if the one time contribution made by a person is not more than Rs 20,000.
And, this is where the evade disclosures. In fact, if one looks at the contribution reports submitted by national parties to the election commission, it becomes clear that they reveal very little.
Interestingly, the contribution report of the BSP says that the party received no contributions above Rs 20,000 during 2015-16. Effectively, this means that the party’s funding is unaccounted for.
So if Mayawati is saying that the her party followed rules and procedure to deposit its money in banks then she isn’t wrong.
What about your income BJP?
It seems that the BJP is for the moment only interested in making insinuations for political gains. It has no interest in going to the roots of black money which funds elections.
While the BJP leaders pat their own back over the government’s overdrive for ridding the economy of black money and promoting cashless transactions, the truth is that most of the income of political parties, particularly the BJP and Congress comes from unknown donors.
BJP and Congress together account for more than 80% of total funds collected by parties from all sources.
BJP’s income in 2014-15 was Rs 970 crore. In the previous financial year, all national parties together declared a total income of Rs 1,519 crores. BJP had the highest share of Rs 674 crore.
(Courtesy: YouTube/Hyderabad Deccan)
Why not disclose your own funding sources?
PM Modi deserves kudos for the kind of political will and courage he has exhibited in his fight against black money. His decision of demonetisation and most recently the suggestion of state-funded polls as the next step to curb the menace of black money are truly good measures to cleanse the political system from black money.
But, isn’t self-cleansing exercise required by the political parties on their existing funding sources to bring the guilty before the court of law? There is none other than the BJP to initiate the process of disclosing own funding sources.
The million dollar question is that can PM Modi show his political will to set this process rolling? If yes then it will leave no political party with any option other than following his steps and disclose their fund sources.