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Congress Alleges Misuse of Probe Agencies for BJP Donations, Calls for SC-Monitored Investigation

The Congress party, on February 23, made serious allegations against the BJP, claiming that probe agencies were manipulated to extort donations from private companies for the ruling party. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter, citing the involvement of at least 30 companies that donated around ₹335 crore to the BJP between 2018-19 and 2022-23, coinciding with central agencies’ actions against them. Ramesh highlighted a letter from Congress General Secretary K. C. Venugopal to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, urging for transparency in BJP’s finances and questioning the coercive tactics allegedly used to secure donations.

The letter emphasized media reports exposing a possible quid-pro-quo between the BJP and donating firms following raids by investigative agencies. It underscored the need for institutional independence and raised concerns about the professionalism of central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Income Tax Department (IT), and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Venugopal’s letter pointed out suspicious patterns where firms, under investigation, suddenly began donating to the BJP, suggesting a case of legal extortion through donations.

The Congress demanded an investigation into why these firms donated to the ruling party despite facing scrutiny from investigative agencies. It questioned the integrity of the electoral process and the government’s commitment to democracy, vowing to pursue legal recourse and public awareness campaigns to counter alleged misconduct. The party accused the BJP-led government of undermining democracy by leveraging investigative agencies for political gain, likening it to the demonetization drive of 2016. Amidst escalating tensions between the two major parties, the Congress signaled its readiness to challenge the BJP’s tactics both in legal forums and in the court of public opinion.