Why Journalist Poonam Agarwal Took U-turn On SBI's Electoral Bond Data

Journalist Poonam Agarwal, who initially raised concerns over discrepancies in the electoral bond data, has now come forward with a clarification, admitting a possible error on her part.

Oshi Saxena
New Update
Poonam Aggarwal

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Notable journalist, Poonam Agarwal found herself tangled in a controversy regarding the authenticity of electoral bond data shared by the State Bank of India (SBI). Her initial claims, made via social media, suggested discrepancies between her actual electoral bond purchases and the information provided by the SBI. However, later  Agarwal came forward with a clarification, admitting a possible error on her part.


The Discrepancies Of Poonam Agarwal's Claims

At the heart of this controversy lies Poonam Agarwal's claims that the electoral bond data shared by the SBI inaccurately represented her bond purchases. Initially, Agarwal took to Twitter to express her concerns, highlighting apparent disparities between the timing of her bond acquisitions and the dates indicated in the SBI data. Specifically, she noted that while she recalls purchasing electoral bonds in April 2018, the data purportedly showed transactions attributed to her name in October 2020.

In her tweets, Agarwal raised pressing questions regarding the veracity of the data and speculated on potential explanations for the discrepancies. She also highlighted the importance of clarity and transparency in electoral financing, urging for mechanisms to dispel doubts and ensure the integrity of the process.

In a surprising turn of events, Agarwal recently conceded that her earlier assertions might have been misguided. Citing a video recording from her tenure at The Quint, Agarwal acknowledged the existence of an Electoral Bond dated October 20, 2020, which she had seemingly overlooked. She attributed this oversight to the tumultuous backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the unprecedented events of 2020 may have clouded her memory.


Electoral Bonds and Transparency

The genesis of  electoral bonds traces back to 2018, when the BJP government introduced this novel mechanism as a means of facilitating anonymous donations to political parties. Ostensibly aimed at fostering transparency in political funding, electoral bonds soon became a subject of contention, with critics questioning their efficacy in curbing corruption and ensuring accountability. In January, the Supreme Court intervened in the matter, mandating SBI to disclose comprehensive details of electoral bond transactions spanning the past five years.

Scrutiny and Repercussions

Agarwal's scrutiny of SBI's electoral bond data echoed across political and journalistic spheres, prompting introspection and renewed scrutiny of the electoral financing framework. Her initial allegations show the importance of robust mechanisms for monitoring and verifying political contributions, particularly in a time marked by heightened scrutiny of governmental processes and accountability.

Supreme court SBI Electoral Bonds Data Journalist Poonam Agarwal