The recent ‘Funding Scam’ exposed by the AAP Volunteers Action Manch (AVAM), a breakaway volunteer group of the Aam Aadmi Party, has created quite a brouhaha in a tumultuous election frenzied Delhi. The sensational claims made by AVAM regarding ‘corruption’ in Aam Aadmi Party got extensive coverage by the sensationalist media, who, amid the ruction, gave an impression that these so called allegations were indeed a bunch of overly scrutinized facts. It is time to unearth the real hand behind these so called allegations, the bogus companies and the real intention behind organising such an ‘expose’ right before the election.
The Man Behind AVAM
Karan Singh, the chief of AVAM, very calmly put forth all the allegations in front of the press and was hailed as a sincere whistle blower by the Congress and BJP alike.
So who is this Karan Singh?
Karan Singh was an ex AAP member who was unceremoniously ousted from AAP due to his anti-AAP activities. While in AAP he was a part of the AAP national council. Karan Singh himself claimed that he was personally entrusted charge of volunteer rights and grievances by Kejriwal himself. He put forward the idea of forming a volunteer action manch , a referendum mechanism of sorts for the volunteers.
For Karan Singh , who was seen as an overly ambitious person, the proposed AVAM would have given him significant powers vis a vis top party leaders.
Karan Singh’s repeated demands to be included in the political affairs committee (PAC), the top decision making authority in AAP, were never entertained due to his rapacious ambitions. It is reported that then Karan urged the volunteers to join BJP as “Modiji has given hope 2 India”. It was this act than resulted in his ouster from the Aam Aadmi Party. Thus his tilt towards BJP is rather well known and the so called expose of the AAP’s ‘funding scam’ is just a desperate last minute measure to hurt AAP’s credibility and swing the public opinion in favour of BJP.
The name AAP Volunteer Action Manch is in itself a scam as AVAM has no relations with the Aam Aadmi Party but is still using its name. But the real question is not about his intentions but the relevance of the accusations levelled against AAP.
Let’s see how much truth these allegations hold
Soon after the over blown ‘expose’ on the so called funding scam, Jaskirat Mann, one of the people whose name has come up in the cheques drawn in favour of AAP by the Bogus companies, told in a telephonic interview with a leading news channel that she has indeed donated money to AAP but through her credit card and not by a cheque. She claimed that the cheques were fake and it is a sinister attempt at defaming her and the Aam Aadmi Party.
The cheques were undated and had no names and it would be very wrong to judge AAP without a thorough investigation into this matter. She has already filed a defamation case against AVAM and has challenged the AVAM to come clean on the genuineness of the cheques shown to the media. Her challenge remains unanswered. There has come no supporting evidence to prove the allegations right. There are no records of these cheques being deposited nor there is any stamp marks on the cheques. If these allegations raise any questions then it is not against AAP but on our Banking system, where bogus companies can open accounts without proper address proofs.
AAP or BJP Volunteer Action Manch
Now that the AVAM’s sympathy and inclination towards BJP is known, it is only natural to think whether AVAM is just a BJP’s puppet organistaion or a BJP funded ‘Volunteer Organisation’. The most likely benefactor of the ‘Funding Scam’ episode is the BJP, the main rival of AAP in Delhi. One of the main leaders of AVAM, Neil, was claiming to be a member of BJP on a social networking site. It seems the Funding Scam allegations have more to do with the disdain of AVAM leaders with AAP, and less with facts and righteousness.
The inputs regarding the illegal funding should have reached the office of AVAM at least 3 months back but they chose to break the ‘story’ only days before the election. Perhaps they were waiting for a green signal by their new found Patrons. It is not surprising given the BJP’s use of similar tactics in the form of CAG and the now defunct website IndianRepublic.com during the Lok Sabha elections to malign Congress. Then they might have enough evidences to launch scathing attack on the corrupt ruling government of Congress but now it is hard evidences that they lack against a resurgent AAP.
Faced with the media onslaught on the funding allegations the AAP party has asked the government to initiate a SIT probe into the illegal funding of all the political parties. Now the party which has not disclosed the source of 80 Percent of its funds is being challenged to investigate illegal funding of political parties.
The ‘Funding Scam’ episode has surely backfired as far as BJP is concerned. It is for the people to decide who they want to support. Will they support a party which holds 80% of its funding source or a party like AAP, which is being maligned inordinately over 2 crores by an NGO with questionable integrity?
I hope the common sense of the common men prevails over hype and propaganda.
By: Avinandan Choudhury