he Trinamool Congress (TMC) staged a protest in the Parliament today over the amendment in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Holding placards, its Members of Parliament shouted slogans against the government's decision.

TMC MPs alleged that through the fresh amendment the government has tried to legalize contributions made by foreign companies with effect from 1976. NGO Association for Democratic Reforms has decided to challenge the amendment in Supreme Court.

TMC issued a statement strongly criticizing the move. It said that such an amendment will endanger India's political agenda being directed by special interest groups with no real checks and balances.The possibility of round-tripping of funds, especially with Punjab National Bank and other bank scams by Nirav Modi and others, will find legitimate sanction and ease for fighting elections by BJP in 2019. One never knows that the black money stashed abroad might find a safe and legal route back through these political parties, the statement said.

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) founder member Professor Jagdeep Chhoker told India Today, "The Modi-government has amended a dead law to bail out BJP and Congress over funding from offshore companies, the retrospective amendment is direct fallout of a 2014 Delhi High Court verdict that held BJP and Congress guilty of violating the FCRA."

In its judgment, the Delhi HC had asked Election Commission and the centre to take action against BJP and Congress for receiving funds from three subsidiaries of a London-based company through Public and Political Awareness Trust. Stung by the latest amendment, ADR will soon approach the Supreme Court to challenge the government's move.

Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan said that it is unconstitutional to pass this amendment as a Finance Bill, it has been done to avoid it going to the Rajya Sabha. "It is a step to allow offshore black money bags to hijack Indian democracy, we cannot achieve transparency in electoral politics like this," he said.

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