Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

TNM-NL investigation: Congress demands probe into BJP’s political donations

The demand for an investigation is based on a report published by The News Minute and Newslaundry, which found out that 30 companies which were subjected to raids by the Enforcement Directorate and Income-Tax, donated a total of Rs 335 crore to the BJP.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Friday, February 23, wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, demanding an investigation into the political donations that have been made to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The demand for an investigation is based on a report published by The News Minute and Newslaundry, which found out that 30 companies which were subjected to raids by the Enforcement Directorate and Income-Tax, donated a total of Rs 335 crore to the BJP. 

“It raises serious questions about the institutional independence, autonomy and the professionalism of the Central agencies - IT, ED, CBI. Two of the three agencies come under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry,” said AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal in a letter to the Finance Minister. 

Stating that the entire nation knows how investigative agencies are being “remote controlled” by the Union government, he said that there has been a “4-fold increase in ED cases against politicians since 2014, and 95% of the cases are against the Opposition leaders”.

Citing the findings of the TNM-NL investigation, the Congress party said that it seems to be a clear-cut case of legal extortion in the form of donations to the ruling party, by exerting pressure on investigative agencies. 

“We are nowhere alleging that the cases filed, or the action taken by the investigating agencies are illegal, but it does warrant an investigation, on why these "dubious" firms who have ED cases against them are donating to the ruling party BJP, despite ED investigation against them. Is it a mere coincidence that they are donating to the BJP, after ED action?,” the Congress party said in its statement. 

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