Kuldip Nayar considers the implications of foreign subsidies paid to India’s political parties, especially in the run-up to next year’s elections.
The ruling Congress party has asked the government of India to look into the funds received by different political parties from abroad. This query before the general elections, due in 2014 or earlier, conveys two messages. One, that Congress is not getting as much money from abroad as it used to in the past.
Two, the party has the impression that its rivals are flushed with funds that could only have come from foreign sources. Whatever the truth, the Congress has betrayed a degree of nervousness by posing such a query.
In fact, the foreign funding of parties became such an irritant some years ago that the then government, headed by the Congress party, ordered an inquiry. The report was revealing.