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IndiaOnly 3% ED cases against politicians, honest have nothing to fear: PM...

Only 3% ED cases against politicians, honest have nothing to fear: PM Modi

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New Delhi: Amid the arrest of a number of Opposition leaders, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, by the ED in the run up to the , Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday claimed only 3 per cent of the cases filed by the agency were against political leaders.

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In an interview, PM Modi refuted the accusation of misuse of probe agencies to harass rivals and declared that those involved in corruption would have “paap ka dar” (fear of sin). He also said honest persons had nothing to fear.

The PM's remark came amid criticism over Kejriwal's arrest last month in connection with the alleged excise policy scam. Strongly refuting the allegations levelled by the Opposition that the current political scenario was heavily tilted in favour of the BJP due to changes in the law regarding the selection of Election Commissioners, PM Modi said the legislation ensured the participation of a representative of the Opposition as well.

“In fact, we have made improvements. Today, when the Election Commission is formed, the Opposition is also in it.” The PM was referring to the law mandating the Leader of the Opposition as the third member in a three-member selection panel. The other two are the PM and a Union Minister.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's decision to scrap the electoral bonds scheme, the PM said, “Everyone will regret it when there is an honest reflection.” He said the electoral bonds scheme launched by his government was meant to fight the use of black money, referring to unaccounted cash or funds from criminal activities, in election campaigns, and that he had “never claimed this was an absolute way” to achieve that goal.

He also attacked the Opposition for spreading “lies” about the scheme and said his government had introduced it to curb the use of “black money” during the elections. He countered criticism that the BJP was the largest beneficiary of the scheme with thousands of crores of rupees donated to it. “There has been a discussion in our country for a long time that black money allows for dangerous games to be played during elections. That money is spent in elections… no one denies. My party also spends… all parties and all candidates spend, and this money is taken from the people. I wanted to try something. How can our elections be free from this black money? How can there be transparency for people giving donations? This was a pure thought in my mind,” the PM said.

“We were looking for a way. We found a small way (but) never claimed this was absolute,” he said, building on comments from earlier this month when he told a TV news channel that “no system is perfect… shortcomings can be improved”. He, however, pointed out that 63 per cent of the amount received from 16 companies which bought electoral bonds after facing money laundering cases went to parties other than the BJP.

“This is the success story of electoral bonds… You are getting a (money) trail of which company gave, how much, where. Whether what happened was good or bad can be an issue of debate…” he explained.

Attacking the Congress' manifesto, which he had earlier referred to as an imprint of the Muslim League, PM Modi said, “This manifesto completely fails the . In a way, the manifesto of the Opposition destroys the aspiration of the first-time voters of the country. The biggest loss (from the Congress' manifesto) is to the people who are less than 25 years old. This manifesto will destroy their future.”

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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