Accusing Congress and BJP of getting most of their donations from undisclosed sources, the AAP today demanded that the parties come clean on their funds and reveal the names of donors. In a letter to both the parties, AAP national treasurer Raghav Chadha demanded to know the money deposited by them in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in their respective bank accounts, after the Centre’s demonetisation announcement.
The Modi government had recently said that political parties depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in their accounts will be exempt from income tax, provided the donations taken are below Rs 20,000 per individual and properly documented. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said that the parties cannot accept donations in old notes since these bills were junked last month, and clarified that there was no new exemption granted.
The conditional tax exemptions historically given to income of registered political parties continue and no new concession or exemption has been granted either post November 8 demonetisation announcement or in the last two-and-a-half years, he said. Chadha alleged that political parties have become a tool to convert black money into legal currency. “They (parties) do not give report of donors who pay less than Rs 20,000. Interestingly, your parties are one of those who receive their maximum donation in this form. We demand that names of these donors be made public,” he said, adding that the two parties (Congress, BJP) have also been avoiding to come under the RTI.
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The AAP leader said at a time when the common man has been under the scrutiny over the funds deposited in his bank account, the political parties are going scot-free. Chadha also demanded that the two parties get their accounts of over five years scrutinised. AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had yesterday demanded formation of a commission to probe the donations received by political parties.