Bharat Express

Shatrughan Sinha Takes Swipe at BJP Over “Chanda Ka Dhanda” in Relation to Electoral Bonds

Trinamool Congress MP Shatrughan Sinha Prepares for Lok Sabha Showdown in West Bengal’s Asansol

Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, gearing up for the Lok Sabha battle in West Bengal’s Asansol, has accused the ruling BJP of using the electoral bonds scheme for extortion and blackmail. Speaking to a source in Patna, the Trinamool Congress MP responded to the revelation that opposition parties also received donations through the now-scrapped system.

Addressing concerns about the Trinamool Congress ranking second in donations received through electoral bonds, Sinha questioned whether opposition parties resorted to extortion or blackmail tactics similar to the BJP. He highlighted the absence of pressure tactics or threats of an investigation by agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), or Income Tax department from the opposition parties towards donors.

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Sinha pointed out that while the BJP introduced the electoral bonds scheme, it was wrongfully utilized for coercion and threats, unlike opposition parties. He emphasized that the opposition did not misuse the system for fraudulent activities or to create fear among donors. Sinha criticized the BJP for engaging in what he termed as “Chanda ka dhanda” (business of donations), alleging the party used donations to secure contracts, make arrests, and intimidate individuals.

The veteran politician stressed the importance of distinguishing between the ruling party’s actions and those of opposition parties regarding electoral bond usage. According to data from the Election Commission of India, the BJP received the highest funds through electoral bonds since 2018, followed by the Trinamool Congress and Congress.

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Sinha affirmed that the electoral bond issue has become a significant election topic. He also raised concerns about the Election Commission’s response to Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) doubts, highlighting the need for transparency and clarity. Sinha, who previously belonged to the BJP before joining the Congress in 2019 and subsequently switching to the Trinamool in 2022, won the Asansol parliamentary seat in a by-poll the same year.