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India’s main opposition party claims funds frozen ahead of election

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India’s main opposition political party – the Congress claimed on Friday (Feb 16) that all its bank accounts have been frozen. Addressing a press conference, Congress treasurer Ajay Maken said the accounts have been frozen ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“You will be surprised to know that democracy has completely ended in India. The Congress received information the day before yesterday that the party’s bank cheques issued were not being honoured,” Maken said.

“When we started probing this matter, we were told that all the bank accounts of the party were frozen,” Maken said, adding that not just bank accounts (of Congress) were frozen but the country’s democracy has also been frozen. He pointed out that the Youth Congress’ bank accounts have also been frozen.

“Just a few weeks are left for the announcement of the election dates and the bank accounts of the main opposition party have been frozen. What does the central government want to prove?” the party treasurer further said.

Why have the bank accounts been frozen?

According to the Congress, the accounts were frozen on an Income Tax demand of $25.28 million (Rs 210 crore) for 2018-19. Maken told reporters on Friday that Congress already appealed to the Income Tax appellate authority.

Maken also said that the party doesn’t have “any money to spend, to pay electricity bills, to pay salaries to our employees.” He highlighted that all political parties of the Congress will be impacted.

‘A deep assault on India’s democracy’

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge lashed out at the Modi government over the freezing of bank accounts. In a post on X, Kharge said, “Power drunk Modi Govt has frozen the accounts of the country’s largest Opposition party – the Indian National Congress – just before the Lok Sabha elections. This is a deep assault on India’s Democracy!”

“The UNCONSTITUTIONAL money collected by the BJP would be utilised by them for elections, but the money collected by us through CROWDFUNDING shall be sealed!” Kharge added.

The Congress president further appealed to the judiciary to save the multi-party system in this country and protect India’s Democracy. (Source: WION)

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