Punjab, March 19, 2017: The washout of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab Elections 2017, accentuates the focus on pervading corruption within AAP. ‘Chanda Bandh Satyagraha’ or NoListNoDonation has also been fighting against the restoration of transparency in political funding of AAP since December 24, 2016.
Now, AAP’s defeat too shouts out the agenda of the campaign.
As the lack of transparency gives rise to all the malicious practices that can operate within the administration of the party. Opaque funding has also given the way to the unethical distribution of tickets and biased selection of members into the party.
The honest and deserving volunteers who had watered and nurtured the party with their hard-work have been ignored. Internal democracy has been replaced with high command culture into the party’s governance.
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Recently, a petition has been signed demanding Arvind Kejriwal to remove Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak from the party, holding them responsible for massive defeat in Punjab.
The petition reads:
“With this petition, we are appealing to Arvind Kejriwal, Please listen to the voice of all the volunteers of Punjab and overseas as well and remove Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak from their positions because volunteers have lost faith in them. “
These two were the incharges of the party in Punjab elections. According to the petition filed, they should have resigned themselves taking the responsibilty of AAP’s defeat on their shoulders.
It should be noted that these two people are very close aides of Arvind Kejriwal.
While signing the PETITION, Shikhar Singh from San Franciso (U.S.A.) blames AAP for selling their tickets for Lacs of Rupees. The innocent and honest people have been discarded. Tainted, undeserving and corrupted members were given preference.
Himanshu and Sangram from India also accuse the party for being indulgent into wrong practices while signing the petition.
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Dr. Munish Raizada, Former co-convenor of AAP NRI wing and convener of ‘Chanda Bandh Satyagraha’ raises a valid question. He says,The party is a small club managed essentially by 6-7 individuals. ‘Chanda Chor Gang ka mukhiya’ (ring leader of Chanda Chor Gang) very well knows what all has happened in Punjab and the reasons for their devastating defeat”.
Further, Dr. Munish Raizada adds that if a party cannot keep its funding transparent, how can they talk about removing corruption from the system?
Raizada has been struggling for bringing back the lost morality and transparency in the party through ‘Chanda Bandh Satyagraha’ or NoListNoDonation campaign which aims to seek a pledge from the public not to donate to AAP if it does not display its donor’s list.
The fact that Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak are among the people who are closest to Kejriwal implies that he is not ignorant of the malignant activities that have been taking place behind the name of politics.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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)