BJD for monitoring of political parties funding as EC seeks major clean-up

New Delhi [India], Dec. 8 : With Election Commission asking the Income Tax Department to stop giving exemption to political parties that do not contest elections as many of these outfits could be fronts to siphon off black money, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Jay Panda on Thursday said that there should not be any restriction on formation of a political party but called for a strong monitoring and auditing of their funding.

Panda told ANI that he has written recommendation to the Election Commission, Law Commission and also written articles in popular news papers and magazines about specific steps that need to be taken to clean political funding to make it transparent.

"I don't think there should be restriction on formation of a political party. I think there should be very strong monitoring and auditing of their funding and transparency in line with many suggestion that are coming out including the ones that I have made," he said.

"There are two issues here. In a democracy, we should not stop political parties from being founded or even if they are inactive. The other issue is that the concern that the paper political parties that are not active be a source of black money, that is the main issue.

And there we must correct down," he added. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi yesterday said that there are over 1,900 parties in India, out of which 400 never fought polls.

The Election Commission suspects that many registered parties, which exist only on paper, might be taking advantage of these legal loopholes to route dodgy cash.

However, the Election Commission has started an exercise to strike off such parties from its list. "Striking off their names will disentitle them from income tax exemptions on contributions and donations," Zaidi said.

The Election Commission has asked chief electoral officers of all states to inform it about such parties.

Source: ANI