Congress Leader Ajay Maken Hits Out at Modi Govt Over Frozen Bank Accounts

Congress leader Ajay Maken accuses Modi govt of freezing bank accounts to weaken party financially, calls it an attack on democracy in India.
Congress Leader Ajay Maken Hits Out at Modi Govt Over Frozen Bank Accounts
Congress Leader Ajay Maken Hits Out at Modi Govt Over Frozen Bank Accounts

In a fiery address, Congress leader Ajay Maken accused the Narendra Modi government of orchestrating a deliberate campaign to financially weaken the Congress, equating it to an attack on democracy in India.

Speaking at a press conference on March 21, Maken expressed concern over the freezing of Congress party accounts, asserting that it obstructed their preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He highlighted the party's inability to utilize Rs 285 crore for election-related activities, including advertising and poster printing.

“Efforts are being made to weaken Congress financially. This is not just an attack on accounts of the Congress party by the Narendra Modi government but also an attack on democracy in India. The election date has come and we are not able to use Rs 285 crore lying in our bank. For publicity, we have to book slots in newspapers and electronic media, we have to get posters printed. If we are not able to do even this work, then how will democracy survive?” he said.

Maken further criticized the timing of the notices received by the party, particularly a recent one related to the financial year 1993-94, suggesting a deliberate attempt to disrupt their functioning just weeks before elections. He questioned the disproportionate penalties imposed by the Income Tax Department, raising suspicions of political motive behind the stringent actions against the Congress.

“After 7 years, the Income Tax Department has now frozen our bank accounts regarding a case of 2017-18. Notice has come last week from Sitaram Kesari era. The assessment notice of 1994-95 is now in front of us. We will be harassed regarding this in future also,” he added.

Moreover, Maken drew attention to the contrasting treatment of political parties under income tax laws, emphasizing the BJP's immunity from such scrutiny. He accused the BJP of exploiting electoral bonds, which were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, to amass funds disproportionately. Maken alleged coercion by the BJP in obtaining these bonds, pointing to a significant increase in their donations over the past nine years.

“We have three things to say. Every political party is exempt from income tax. If no one ever gave a penalty, then why is it so with Congress?” Maken asked.

Highlighting the unequal distribution of electoral bonds, with the BJP receiving a disproportionately large share compared to other parties, Maken questioned the integrity of the donation process and raised concerns about the erosion of democracy and a level playing field.

Ultimately, Maken condemned what he perceived as a concerted effort by the Modi government to undermine opposition parties, particularly the Congress, through financial constraints, labeling it a violation of democratic principles and equitable political competition.

Congress Leader Ajay Maken Hits Out at Modi Govt Over Frozen Bank Accounts
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