Banerjee assails centre for announcing electoral bonds without consultations

Kolkata, Feb 3 (IANS) Attacking the central government’s decision to introduce electoral bonds, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the issue and electoral funding should have been discussed with the political parties first.

“They (the central government) should have called all the political parties and sought their opinion. Issues like political funding and floating of electoral bonds should have been discussed,” Banerjee told media persons here.

Pointing out that her Trinamool Congress has for years been pitching for state funding of elections, she saw some “bigger motive” in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s proposal for electoral bond in the Union Budget presented on February 1.

“Just before the assembly polls in five states they made this announcement. I wonder what their motive is. It may well be that later on we will find there was a much bigger motive that propelled them to go for this announcement,” she said.

The Trinamool would hit the streets in the coming days demanded central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate return the money looted from the people by the Rose Valley and Saradha ponzi firms, said Banerjee.

“When they have seized the assets of these companies, why aren’t they returning the money?” she asked.