Congress questions BJP's stance on corruption, RTI

The Congress has questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s “double standards” on corruption, saying the ruling party had done nothing to pursue electoral reforms dealing with the money spent in polls.

“These are the double standards of the BJP... They indulge in drum beating over corruption and black money but have done nothing on electoral reforms, especially money spent in polls,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told this newspaper.

“The BJP has so far not shared its accounts in the Bihar Assembly polls and the Budget for the coming UP Assembly polls,” said Singhvi adding “the government had to take lead in the matter”.

While the Congress has accused the government of causing unnecessary hardship to millions of people owing to faulty implementation of demonetisation, the government has backed the move saying it would help curb corruption in the long run.

Congress leaders also said there was no need to launch a fresh amnesty scheme to turn black money into white at 50% tax rate.

On the issue of political parties coming under the ambit of the RTI Act, the Congress said the ruling BJP had still not stated its position.  

Most political parties are said to be against coming under RTI as they fear it might lead to a large number of frivolous queries. Congress leaders said according to the current practice, the parties give details of audited accounts of contributions they receive to the Election Commission. However, the parties need not have such obligation for contributions less than Rs 20,000.

All Lok Sabha and Assembly candidates, too, have to report their expenditure to the EC within a month of polls. If the expenditure exceeds the prescribed limit, the candidate might be disqualified.

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