Adhir praises economist Parakala Prabhakar for his views on electoral bonds



Chowdhury also came down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre saying that “electoral bonds were a systematic way to extort money”.

Published Date – 28 March 2024, 11:45 PM

Adhir praises economist Parakala Prabhakar for his views on electoral bonds

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Kolkata: West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Thursday heaped praise on Parakala Prabhakar, eminent economist and husband of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for his views on the electoral bonds saying that he should be thanked for it.

Chowdhury also came down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre saying that “electoral bonds were a systematic way to extort money”.

“He (Prabhakar) has spoken the truth. I would like to thank him for that. He is an honest, upright and determined person and that is why he could say this. He deserves to be praised lavishly,” Chowdhury told reporters.

“We in Congress as well as Rahul Gandhi have been saying this (what Prabhakar said) for a long time… since the day when electoral bonds issue was passed in Parliament along with the Financial Bill (in 2017). We had protested against it. We understood that the electoral bonds were a systematic way to extort money,” he added.

Prabhakar while speaking to a television news channel has said that “Electoral bond scam is not just the biggest scam in India but the biggest scam in the world. After electoral bond corruption became public, now the fight is not between two alliances but between the BJP and the people of India.” The Congress leader alleged that lottery company owners donated Rs 600 crores to the ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal only to do business in the state.

“Lottery company owners donated around Rs 600 crore to the West Bengal government so that they do not face any hurdles in running their business in the state. They are also giving money to Modi. We are getting several shocking pieces of information regarding the electoral bonds. One is giving money and then getting a contract,” he said.

Chowdhury described the electoral bonds as “chanda (subscription)” and also alleged that in exchange for the electoral bonds the central government has distributed tenders amounting to Rs four lakh crore.

Talking about Sitharaman declining to contest the Lok Sabha election because she does not have the money, Chowdhury said that the Union Finance Minister was a “victim of circumstances”.

“We have never said that she is a dishonest person. I am also not saying that she is a thief or she is a wealthy person. It might be that it requires a lot of money to fight elections in South India and that is why she is not contesting,” Chowdhury said.

Referring to Sitaraman’s daughter’s wedding, the Congress leader said that it was a very low-key celebration and he had asked the FM for a treat with laddu.

“Inside the Parliament, we had arguments on several occasions when we asked Sitharaman different questions several times. We have never attacked her personally. But we feel bad seeing her arguing on behalf of the government of which she is the finance minister.

“She (Sitaraman) is a victim of the circumstances. She understands everything. But in today’s BJP government only one person talks and decides everything and everyone has to listen to him. We should remember that like her husband, she is also an economist,” he added.

Sitharaman on Wednesday said that she has turned down BJP president JP Nadda’s offer to fight the Lok Sabha polls from Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu because she did not have the funds to contest the polls.

On PM Modi’s promise to distribute Rs 3,000 crore ED-seized assets, Chowdhury said that it was nothing but a “political jumla” (an empty promise) and it would increase in the upcoming days.

“This is nothing but jumla bazi of Modiji. He has done such kind earlier also. This is nothing but a jumla, It’s only a start, there will be many more coming. Just wait and see,” he said.




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