KEY HIGHLIGHTS :
- Through an amendment in the Finance Bill 2018, electoral bonds allowing anonymous political funding, including by corporates was allowed by the NDA government. The NDA’s funding has consequently jumped up 12 times. 95% of anonymous donations have been made to the BJP, as per BJP annual audit report for the FY 2017-18.
- The Representation of People’s Act, which lays down the rules for elections, bars political parties from accepting foreign funds. But in 2016, the NDA amended the FCRA to allow foreign funding without scrutiny. Even more shockingly, thanks to NDA, funds received by political parties since 1976 cannot be scrutinised.
- The pendency of RTI requests jumped from 8.5 lakhs (in 2014-’15) to 14.5 lakhs (in 2017-’18). 40% of the cases under RTI were rejected by the Central Information Commission in 2018. Furthermore, 08 of the 11 commissioners have not been appointed to date.
- This NDA has broken the record of having the highest number of ordinances passed in a single term in office. It has passed 22 ordinances to bypass Parliament in key decision making.
- The NDA has systematically weakened the Whistleblower Protection Act by not implementing it, and offered no protection to people who expose corruption. It has also deliberately not acted on the murders of over 80 Whistle-blowers and RTI
- Through amendments to Prevention of Corruption Act in 2018, the NDA has mandated that prior sanction be taken from the government to investigate a matter of corruption against any individual. In the last five years, the NDA has only sanctioned investigation into political opponents.
- The NDA has not passed the grievance redressal law for the people seeking redressal regarding non-payment of pensions, inaccessibility to ration, health or education.
CHARGE 1: TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY UNDERMINED
- The Prevention of Corruption Act has been amended to require mandatory prior sanction from the government to enquire/investigate cases of corruption. In addition, bureaucrats are exempted from disclosing details of independently created assets held by their spouse or children.
- The NDA has deliberately undermined the RTI Act. The pendency of RTI requests jumped from 8.5 lakhs (in 2014-’15) to 14.5 lakhs (in 2017-’18). 40% of the cases were rejected by the Commission in 2018.
- The RTI is critical. For example, an RTI revealed that the Reserve Bank of India spent only about three hours before approving the demonetisation move that took out nearly 86% (in value terms) currency from the country in one go on November 8.
- No time bound inquiries and criminal action has been taken against those who were involved in the murder of more than 80 whistle-blowers/ RTI users. No legal protection to those having the courage to expose corruption in the absence of implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
- Electoral Bonds were introduced as a mode of funding of political parties through an amendment to the Finance Bill, 2018. This legalises the corporate takeover of the electoral system. Furthermore, it ensures public anonymity of the donor.
- The NDA Government has broken the record of having the highest number of ordinances passed in a single term in office. Since coming into power, the BJP has passed 22 ordinances thereby preventing the Parliament from fulfilling its mandate.
- Crores of people have grievances in accessing their entitlements such as ration, pension, health and education. Despite this, the NDA government has not passed the Grievance Redress Law that would have given every citizen the right to redress grievances.
CHARGE 2- INSTITUTIONAL DECEIT
- The NDA government has taken great pains to hide PM Modi’s Bachelor’s degree. It went all the way to the Supreme Court to prevent disclosure.
- 08 of the 11 Information Commissioners mandated under the RTI Act have not been appointed by the Modi Government yet.
- Similarly, the Lokpal was appointed only a month before the 2019 LS elections.
- Banks or the RBI do not disclose the details of either NPA write-offs, or the names of defaulters and fraudsters.