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AAP’s Chanda Chor Gang and Income from Unknown Sources

Posted

March 5, 2017

New Delhi,  8 January,2017:

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) last week published a report on the political funding of various parties. These are the salient features:

  1. The total income of national and regional political parties between 2004-05 and 2014-15 stood at INR 11,367 crore, with the highest of 3,982 crore being the Congress’s share. However, 69% of the income of these parties was from unknown sources.
  2.  As per the ADR report, during the 11 years, 83 per cent of total income of Indian National Congress (INC) amounting to Rs 3,323.39 crore and 65 per cent of total income of the BJP amounting to Rs 2,125.91 crore came from unknown sources.
  3. BSP is the only party that has consistently claimed that it has not received any donation of the value more than 20,000 Rupees. Hence, it does not report any income. In other words, The ADR said that 100 per cent of BSP’s donations came from unknown sources.
  4. ADR reported that between 2013-2015, AAP reported a total donation received to the value of 110 Crore, out of which 57 % is from Unknown sources (ie, less than 20,000 Rupees each).

It may be known that political parties are not required by law to report a donation less than 20,000 value. This is a major loophole that political parties use to indulge in opaque funding. For example, a political party might ask a donor to donate Rs. 19,999 five times rather than donating directly a sum of 1 Lakh Rupees, to avoid reporting.

Now, let us look at our Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). It was established with a clear objective of making India corruption-free ( भ्रस्टाचार मुक्त भारत मेरी मांग ही नहीं , जिद्द है !). It says it practices Honest politics. It says it practices politics with Clean Money.

AAP claims: “The Aam Aadmi party will operate with 100% transparency in its financial procedures and practices. Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But taking off the lists of donors from its website since June 2016 is tantamount to clear contravention of its own policy.  AAP leaders -who we call Chanda Chor Gang- are creating an atmosphere of deception and fakery with regard to financial transparency. The party uses lofty words like transparency and honesty, while the donors’ list has been scrapped from the public view.

Now as the ADR report came out, the Chanda Chor gang rather than fixing the issue of income from Unknown Sources, swung into a gimmick of ridiculing ADR.

The fact remains:

AAP received 57 % of the income from donors who donated each value less than Rs 20,000. ADR rightly calls these donations from “Unknown Sources”. And obviously, AAP has decided not to disclose the names.

Rather than making them public, AAP is trying to stress that “No donation is from Unknown Sources.” AAP’s Chanda Chor Gang says that it maintains each and every donation in its accounts and directly reports to IT department.

Well, such donations will still be called ‘from Unknown Sources” unless they are disclosed to the public. Howsoever, the spin doctors of AAP may whine and fume, they can not chnage the terms of financial transparency.

Transparency -like justice- must not only be delivered, it must seen to be delivered.

AAP’s manipulators may claim that they maintain each and every donation less than Rs, 20,000. But if they do not make them public, how do we know:

Who is donating (a undesriable donor?)

What is the intent (conflict of interest?)

 

Unregulated, undisclosed and opaque political Funding is the root cause of corruption. Black money leads to black politics.

The Chanda Chor gang of AAP will do well to take these steps rather than resorting to the manipulations:

  1. Be transparent: Make each and every donation exceeding Rupees one public. This is not a new demand. The Donation Policy of AAP says so.
  2. AAP should be the first ever party to come under RTI. Go to CIC and declare yourself to this effect. What are we afraid of?

Looking at the opaque practices of AAP’s Chanda Chor gang, we started Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (No List: No Donation) campaign in Dec 2016.

Join and be a part of the crusade.

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