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Systematic efforts by Modi to cripple Congress financially: Sonia

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: March 21, 2024 14:27 IST
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Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making a systematic effort to cripple the Congress financially, former party president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday demanded that the party be given access to its bank accounts to ensure a level playing field in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

IMAGE: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi addresse a press conference in New Delhi. Photograph: @INCIndia/X

In a press conference also addressed by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi, the party said its ability to fight elections has been damaged due to the action.

"...We can do no campaign work... Our ability to fight elections has been damaged," former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said while launching a scathing attack on the government over the issue of freezing of the party's accounts due to an Income Tax returns issue.

"Defreeze our accounts to ensure a level playing field in polls," Kharge demanded.

According to Rahul Gandhi, this is not a freezing of the Congress' accounts but a freezing of Indian democracy.

"There is no democracy in India today and the idea that India is the world's largest democracy is a complete lie," Rahul Gandhi alleged, terming the freezing of accounts a criminal action against the Congress by the prime minister and home minister.

"There are institutions that are supposed to protect the democratic framework but nothing is happening," he said.


In her remarks at the press conference, Sonia Gandhi said the issue that is being taken up today is "very, very serious" and affects not just the Indian National Congress but "impacts our democracy itself most fundamentally".

"A systematic effort is underway by the prime minister to cripple the Indian National Congress financially. Funds collected from the public are being frozen, and money from our accounts is being taken away forcibly," she said.

"However, even under these most challenging circumstances, we are doing our best to maintain the effectiveness of our election campaign," she said.

"On the one hand, there is the Electoral Bond issue, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The electoral bonds have benefitted the BJP hugely. On the other hand, the finances of the principal opposition party, the INC, are under a determined assault," she said.

This is truly unprecedented, Sonia Gandhi added.

Kharge appealed to constitutional bodies to allow the Congress to access bank accounts if they want free and fair polls.

The party in power, he said, amassed funds through electoral bonds while freezing the Congress' accounts to create hurdles for it in fighting polls.

"Those in power should not have direct or indirect control over constitutional bodies," he said, adding that those in power should not have monopoly over resources.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.