Do voters care about Electoral Bonds controversy?

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 19, 2024 IST

For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.

Sutanu Guru

For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country. About two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of India passed verdict that the Electoral Bonds Law that the Narendra Modi regime had implemented through an Act of Parliament in 2017 is unconstitutional. While declaring it unconstitutional, the top court also ordered the State Bank of India (that had a monopoly over processing of electoral bonds) to hand over al details of all electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India. It refused to give Moore time to the bank. The top court also directed the Election Commission to make pubic al the details, including names of donors and beneficiaries.  There has even much debate over the issue. 

Quite naturally, opposition parties thought they had a formidable weapon to use against the ruling regime during the Lok Saha election campaign. Some of the opposition leaders even went on to call the regime an “extortionist” one. Their charge: central agencies like the ED and the CBI would be used to conduct raids against some companies and business houses. These targets of raids and scrutiny would then buy a lot of electoral bonds in the hope that investigations against them would be dropped or paused. Contrary to the perception and propaganda that the media in India has been completely suppressed and subverted by the Narendra Modi regime, there are many media platforms and hundreds of media professionals who have spent about four weeks “uncovering the gory details of this scam”.  The author is not interested in this race for “scoops”. Frankly, elections cost a lot of money. Political parties need entrepreneurs, companies and corporate groups to finance them. Whether electoral bonds were a better (but flawed) system than the earlier practice of “donating” cash remains a matter of debate. What the author finds idiotic in all this the manner in which some media professionals have been acting hysterically at their “momentous” discovery that companies give money to political parties and expect something in return. It is wonderful to be a critic of the Modi regime. India needs more critics. But to act childishly is taking things a bit too far. 

The author has been on a three month tour of India since February 1, 2024. Apart from the backdrop of the imminent 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the journey from “India t Bharat” is an attempt to talk to ordinary citizens across the country and get to understand their feelings, aspirations, disappointments and hopes. It has been a wonderfully fascinating journey where the author is learning how India is changing in many fundamental ways. What do such ordinary Indians think about the electoral bonds controversy? Do they agree with the accusations made by some opposition leaders and media professionals that the regime at the centre had been acting in an “extortionate” manner till the Supreme Court put and end to it? What do they think about the use of money in elections?

Ever since the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on electoral bonds, here is an incomplete list of the paces the author has visited to talk to ordinary Indians: Coimbatore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Cochin, Thrissur, Shimla, Hamirpur, Solan, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Srinagar, Anantnag, Etawah, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Azamgarh, Siwan, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Mednipore, Bhubaneswar, Vizag, Kakinada, Kolkata and 24 North Parganas. The author did not find electoral bonds as a major issue engaging the minds of ordinary folks in any of these places. The only ones who talked animatedly about it where hard core supporters of opposition parties like DMK, CPM, Congress, NC, SP, RJD, JMM, YSR Congress and TMC. But their votes are anyway committed to the parties they vociferously support. Similarly, hardcore NDA supporters think the verdict was wrong and that the Supreme Court is poking its nose into things it should stay away from. The only way the electoral bonds issue can impact the Lok Sabha elections is if a significant proportion of voters who are not hard core supporters agree that the BJP is responsible for this “scam”. Unfortunately for the opposition parties and for the Modi critics in media, there is no resonance among people. Most have read, heard or seen news and debates ver electoral bonds. But they have not been impressed. As far as they are concerned, that money and even “cash” bribes during elections is exchanged during elections is a known thing. According to them, everybody does it.  

So, what’s the big deal? 

 

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
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For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.
For about four weeks, the electoral bonds saga has even grabbing headline everywhere in the country.

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