Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan on Saturday backed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s demand for establishment of a commission to probe the source of funding of political parties, saying the move to exempt them from paying tax while depositing old notes will make them a medium to convert black money into white.
Bhushan also accused the central government of “constantly lying” on the issue of demonetisation and said the figures of old 500 and 1000 notes in circulation is being changed constantly.
Addressing a news conference, Bhushan said the central government is not serious about taking any decision to tackle the menace of black money.
“By allowing them to deposit old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 will make political parties a means to convert black money into white,” the activist-lawyer said, as he questioned the lack of transparency in funding of political parties.
Bhushan, who is known to be an ardent critic of his one-time friend Kejriwal, said the formation of the commission as demanded by the Delhi chief minister is very important.
“There is already an existing loophole that is being exploited by most of the major political parties to convert black money into legitimate political donations up to Rs 20,000.
“Taking advantage of this clause, most parties declare an overwhelming majority of their income as cash donation under this limit and escape scrutiny of the source of its donations,” Bhushan said.
Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India, political arm of Swaraj Abhiyan, claimed that the government has a list of blacklisted tax haven countries, but they have now removed Cyprus from the list with retrospective effect from 2013.
“So there will be no scrutiny of funds which have been channeled from the country,” Yadav said.
Swaraj Abhiyan also announced a ‘Halla Bol’ rally at Jantar Mantar on Sunday against black money and corruption.
Yadav claimed the rally will attended by “anti-corruption crusaders” Justice (retd.) Santosh Hegde among others.
(With inputs from PTI)