New Delhi, Feb 1: The slashing of cash limit for political donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000, proposed in the Budget, will open up "a plethora of ways" in which unaccounted money would come into play, CPI(M) said today and demanded a complete ban on corporate funding of parties.
"We will support a law like the one on corporate social funding. You can create a fund, call it 'Democracy Fund', which can be managed by the Election Commission or the government and start state-funding of elections," party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said. Such steps like fixing the cash donation limit at Rs 2,000 "will not stop direct corporate funding of political parties" or black money, he said, terming the budget announcement in this regard as "playing to the gallery" and a "complete gimmick".
Observing that reduction in the cash limit would "open a plethora of ways" in which black money will come into play, he said "a person can donate Rs 2,000 in cash and arrange for hundreds of buses for a rally of a political party. Someone can arrange food-packets for a huge political rally, as the recent one of the Prime Minister in Lucknow. No cash is transacted in this. How do you account this expense?"
Pointing out that there was no limit on poll expenditure of a political party but only on the candidates, Yechury said "since there is no ceiling on a party's poll expenses, a party can hire 1,000 helicopters for election campaign. But the question is, where is this huge money coming from?" The best way to check black money from entering electoral politics is to prohibit corporate funding of parties and start state-funding of polls, the CPI(M) leader said.