New Delhi: BJP on Monday said it is open to all steps by the Election Commission for electoral reforms, including making public all donations to political parties, and maintained it will abide by any change in rules the poll panel seeks on the issue. Asked about reports that the Election Commission and the government have differences over making it mandatory for political parties to declare all donations before it, BJP says it favours such a reform.
"BJP has always been in favour of electoral reforms and always follows rules. Our candidates will be ready to make public their balance sheets, income tax returns and other financial documents as well as donations and gifts to the party," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters. He said BJP will follow whatever rules are framed in future.
The poll panel has expressed differences with the government's suggestion that this matter be referred to the Law Commission. The EC wants that it be made mandatory that political parties declare all donations, irrespective of the amount of contribution. The EC had earlier asked the government to modify declaration Form 24A under Representation of People's (RP) Act. The Law Ministry had said it had referred the matter to the Law Commission which is looking into amendments required for electoral reforms.
The Law Ministry had recently replied to the EC that its demand regarding removing the limit of Rs 20,000 and making it mandatory for parties to show on record all voluntary donations, irrespective of the sum, had been referred to the Law Commission as it will require an amendment in the Act. The EC, however, feels a notification would suffice.