Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], April 16 (ANI): Echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on the electoral bonds scheme, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Singh said on Monday that even state parties have been complicit in the extortion of funds. The RLD chief also said that political parties need to unite in order to stop it.

"He (PM Modi) is saying that the government will not bear any corruption. On a larger scale, if you see, every party collects money from the public. No party is left out in the electoral bond matter, even the state parties. Every party has to come forward to clarify their stance. The use of black money has been continuous in parties, and to stop it, all of us need to come together," Jayant Singh said while speaking to ANI.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused opposition parties of "spreading lies" over the electoral bonds scheme, which has been struck down by the Supreme Court, and said "everyone will regret it when there is an honest reflection."

In an interview with ANI, PM Modi said the electoral bonds scheme was aimed at curbing black money in elections and said the opposition wants to run away after making allegations.

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"There has been a discussion in our country for a long time that, (through) black money, a dangerous game is there in elections. The play of black money in the country's elections ends, this discussion has been going on for a long time. Money is spent in elections; no one can deny this. My party also spends, all parties, candidates spend, and money has to be taken from people. I wanted that, we try something; how can our elections be free from this black money? How can there be transparency? There was a pure thought in my mind. We were looking for a way. We found a small way, we never claimed that this was the absolute way," he said.

PM Modi also attacked the opposition of spreading lies over electoral bonds and said of the 3,000 companies that gave donations through the scheme, 26 faced action by probe agencies such as ED.

"There is an ED raid... the work of donating to the opposition, will BJP do this? This means 63 per cent of this amount went to the opposition and you are making allegations against us. Their goal is to keep skirting around and run away," he said.

The electoral bond scheme, which started in 2018, has been heavily criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability. Two months ago, the Supreme Court struck down the scheme, saying that it was 'unconstitutional.'

In compliance with a directive from the SC, the Election Commission of India (ECI) uploaded data on electoral bonds on its official website. The data was provided by the State Bank of India (SBI) on the directions of the apex court. (ANI)

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