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Opposition Parties Welcome Supreme Court Judgement on Electoral Bonds

Welcoming the judgement, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury expressed happiness that the Supreme Court bench had upheld the party's contention.
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Opposition parties have welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Electoral Bonds. In a unanimous verdict, a five-judge bench of Chief Justice of Inda DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra struck down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) was the only political party that publicly declared that it would not accept electoral bonds. Against the scheme introduced by the Union government, the party, in February 2018, moved to the Supreme Court, saying that the introduction of the scheme "undermines democracy" and would "lead to greater political corruption." 

Advocate Shadan Farasat, who appeared for CPI(M), had argued that the electoral bonds scheme would not reduce black money. 

"The architecture and effect of the electoral bonds scheme is not to reduce black money but to reroute non-anonymous banking channel funding to anonymous electoral bonds. This scheme is an alternative white money channel created by the government. They've added anonymity to it," he argued. "There was earlier a black channel. Now you've created an anonymous white channel," he explained.

Welcoming the judgement, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury expressed happiness that the Supreme Court bench had upheld the party's contention. 

"Congratulations to our Counsel Shadan Farasat and others who effectively argued the case," he said. 

"The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) hails the historic judgment of the Supreme Court, which has struck down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional. By this verdict, this unscrupulous scheme designed to finance the ruling party by anonymous corporate donors has been completely scrapped," the CPI(M) said in a statement.

"It is gratifying that the main contentions set out in the petition against the scheme have been upheld. It is essential now that reforms for political and electoral funding are introduced to ensure transparency, clean funding and a level playing field," the party said.

Rahul Gandhi, in his comments, alleged that the BJP had made "electoral bonds a medium for taking bribes and commissions." 

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed the Supreme Court's decision.

"We hope that Modi Govt will stop resorting to such mischievous ideas in future and listens to the Supreme Court, so that Democracy, Transparency and level-playing field persists".

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal, speaking to news agency PTI, said, "The consequences of that (SC judgment) are mind-boggling for the simple reason that all the money that political parties have received and amongst political parties the BJP has received the maximum amount of money...obviously since the scheme has been struck has huge implications."

Speaking on the judgment, former chief election commissioner of India SY Quraishi said, "It is the most historic judgement that we have got from the Supreme Court in the last 5-7 years. It is a great boon for democracy. We were all concerned about it for the last so many years... everyone who loves democracy was protesting about it. I myself wrote several articles and spoke to the media many times. And every issue that we had raised has been tackled in this judgment."

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anand Dubey called the verdict huge. 

He said, "It used to be kept hidden under the electoral bonds scheme, that from where the political parties and the government are receiving the funds; however, the Election Commission would need to tell everything from today. It's a huge verdict."

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the verdict would reinforce the power of votes over notes. 

"The Supreme Court has held the much-touted Electoral Bonds scheme of Modi Sarkar as violative of both laws passed by Parliament and the Constitution of India. The long-awaited verdict is hugely welcome and will reinforce the power of votes over notes. The Modi Sarkar has been inflicting ANYAY upon ANYAY on the Annadatas while privileging the Chandadatas. We also hope that the Supreme Court will take note that the Election Commission has been consistently refusing to even meet political parties on the issue of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). If everything is transparent in the voting process, then why is there this obstinacy?"

"The Hon'ble Supreme Court has rightly held that the #ElectoralBonds are unconstitutional. This will ensure a transparent electoral process and the integrity of the system," he said in a post on the social media platform X.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the judgement had restored the level playing field for all political parties. 

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