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‘I will surrender to the court tomorrow’: Digvijaya Singh on MP recruitment scam

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New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, slammed with an arrest warrant issued in relation to the Madhya Pradesh recruitment scam against him by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is set to surrender to a local court today.

Singh believes there is no charge of corruption, and the arrest warrant is nothing but an agitated act by the BJP since he took up the VYAPAM scam.

In a series of tweets, the Congress leader tweeted in this regard:

The arrest warrant was issued against Singh after he failed to appear when the court summoned him for the hearing.

Singh is accused to be involved in the alleged recruitment scam at the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Secretariat in Bhopal between 1993 and 2003. He was the chief minister during that time.

Remaining assertive, Singh believes the Congress gave a loan to a “nonprofit company” National Herald which proved to be a significant reason behind the freedom movement founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He further added that BJP shared its party funds in order to publish a newspaper with a “for profit” company, Shree Multimedia Vision Ltd (SMVL).

Dragging Mr Subramaniam Swamy into his tweet, he tweeted:

And also:

Singh hit out at the Centre, stating Vinod Tawde still continues to be the director as a minister in Maharashtra who is the chairman of the multi-media vision, a ‘for profit company’.

“He has violated the Code of Conduct for Ministers as prescribed by Ministry of Home Govt of India. Shouldn’t he resign?”

Undeterred about the event, the Congress leader said he would surrender today and the state police can arrest him if they want to:

“The Madhya Pradesh police can arrest me if they want. I will surrender to the court tomorrow. I was about to go to Delhi but I have cancelled that also and now I will go to Bhopal,” Singh said.

“This is a 22-year-old scam and it is inevitable that the state government, who is already worried about the Vyapam scam, will target me. In those appointments there was an order by the Cabinet and not alone of mine,” he added.

The Jahangirabad police in February last year filed a cased against Singh, former Speaker Sriniwas Tiwari and others for alleged forgery, conspiracy, cheating, and misuse of office as well as offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Accused in the case are many others, amounting to a total of 24 people at present.

The filing was the result of a complaint issued by the Assembly Secretariat after witnessing irregularities in recruitment between 1993 and 2003. ( Inputs from Agencies)

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AAP’S Media Spend Is Four Times That Of Previous Government: RTI Reply

A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report found that the Delhi government had spent 86 percent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating the completion of AAP's one year in power in 2016

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AAP
Picture of Arvind Kejriwal addressing a rally. Wikimedia Commons
  • The average annual expenditure of the AAP government on advertisements from April 2015 to December 2017 was Rs 70.5 crore
  • The AAP government’s spending on advertisements increased by about 300 percent compared to the Congress government
  • A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report found that the Delhi government had spent 86 percent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating the completion of AAP’s one year in power in 2016

The AAP government has spent an average of Rs 70.5 crore annually in the past three years on advertisements — four times more than the previous government’s expenditure on print, electronic and outdoor advertising, according to an RTI reply.

In the first year after assuming office in February 2015, the current government spent Rs 59.9 crore on advertisements, Rs 66.3 crore the next year and Rs 85.3 crore up to December 31, 2017, the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) said in reply to an RTI application by IANS.

The average annual expenditure of the AAP government on advertisements from April 2015 to December 2017 was Rs 70.5 crore. The Congress’ average was Rs 17.4 crore in the last five years of its rule (2008-2013).

Also Read: AAP welcomes BJP’s stand on inter-faith marriages

According to the DIP, the expenditure includes, among others, advertisements with photos of the Chief Minister and other ministers in newspapers and hoardings, commercial spots on TV and radio, and tender notices published in newspapers.

For instance, when the AAP government completed its first and second anniversary in 2016 and 2017, leading newspapers in the capital carried full-page advertisements, highlighting the achievements of the government.

The Delhi government approached the High Court and the matter is currently pending there. Wikimedia Commons
The Delhi government approached the High Court and the matter is currently pending there. Wikimedia Commons

In the run-up to celebrating its three years in office, the government in the first two weeks of February carried advertisements flashing pictures of the Chief Minister or other ministers. The highlights included the inauguration of community toilets, excellence awards distribution for students, a government meeting on “smart gaon”, and invitation of applications for scholarship schemes.

The AAP government’s spending on advertisements increased by about 300 percent compared to the Congress government.

Also Read: Blow for Kejriwal: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

But the average advertisement rate charged by a leading English newspaper, comparing the Congress government and AAP government periods, has increased by about 17 percent, according to DAVP.

For the same period, the average rate charged by another leading English newspaper has increased by about 35 percent.

A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report found that the Delhi government had spent 86 percent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating the completion of AAP’s one year in power in 2016.

According to the DIP, the expenditure includes, among others, advertisements with photos of the Chief Minister and other ministers in newspapers and hoardings, commercial spots on TV and radio, and tender notices published in newspapers. Wikimedia Commons
According to the DIP, the expenditure includes, among others, advertisements with photos of the Chief Minister and other ministers in newspapers and hoardings, commercial spots on TV and radio, and tender notices published in newspapers. Wikimedia Commons

The auditor pulled up the government for using the name of the party in the advertisements.

Last year, the government came under an opposition attack after Lt. Governor Anil Baijal asked the AAP to cough up Rs 97 crore spent on advertisements, allegedly to promote the party instead of the government. The LG order was based on a report by the Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA).

Also Read: 5 Years of AAP: How Society Has Been Backstabbed by ChandaChor Kejriwal

The regulatory authority asked the Delhi government to assess the expenditure in issuing “those advertisements/advertorials in which the name of the Aam Aadmi Party is mentioned” and other factors.

The Delhi government approached the High Court and the matter is currently pending there.

Delhi government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma said he has “no comments” to offer on the increase in expenditure.

The auditor pulled up the government for using the name of the party in the advertisements. Wikimedia Commons
The auditor pulled up the government for using the name of the party in the advertisements. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken said: “They (AAP) are using the power of advertisements to put pressure on TV (channels) and newspapers. They are doing it ruthlessly”.

BJP MLA and Delhi Assembly Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta termed the government’s spending on advertisements as “irrational”. “Misuse of public money in this way is completely unjustified and unethical,” Gupta told IANS. (IANS)