The AAP ‘funding scam’ farce – Is the media plain stupid or a sellout?

The supposed ‘funding scam’ of the Aam Aadmi Party stands resolved. It was an episode which had absolutely zero substance but was still broadcast in primetime by all major news channels. Either the people who head the editorials of these enterprises have no knowledge of India’s banking and financial system or, as alleged for a long time, they are complete sellouts and are ready to showcase anything in exchange for money.

Let’s find out why AAP has done nothing wrong (by nothing I mean zilch) with respect to this entire controversy:

1) Due diligence is limited in scope

As pointed out by ex-RBS India chief Meera Sanyal, the party has limited scope and power while investigating or vetting any donation made by any person/individual. The party can check for the following credentials of any company/individual.

  • Official registration (done by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the Companies Act)
  • PAN/TIN number, obtained through the Income Tax department
  • Banking credentials (which are automatically ascertained as all payments are done by cheques, netbanking etc

The party, through its Parliamentary Affairs Committee, made sure all the aforementioned credentials were verified and checked before the cheques for processed for clearing.

2) AAP trusted the financial structure and laws

Every organisation, agency, department issuing documents, licences, registrations to companies or individual, has its own system of verification and checks which are done with utmost diligence as follows:

  • RoC (Registrar of Companies) verifies all documents, addresses, phone numbers, financial credentials of companies being registered under the Companies Act. Moreover, this entire registration process is carried out by licensed and authorised CA firms.
  • Income Tax/Sales Tax departments undertakes its own verification process before issuing PAN cards, TIN numbers etc.
  • Public/ private banks and financial institutions have their own independent system of verification, only after which they allow their customers (companies, individuals) to open bank accounts and do financial transactions. All these norms (KYC- Know Your Customer norms et al) are prescribed under various acts governed by the Reserve Bank of India.

If anybody is at fault for the existence of such shell companies (as reported yesterday), it is these very institutions which have failed to adhere to their verification laws and processes.

Why did the RoC and DoIT issue licenses and registrations to these companies if their addresses were forged?

Why did the banks related with these companies allow such dubious organisations to undertake financial transactions. Did they not follow the KYC norms and check for all credentials before opening financial accounts?

The Aam Aadmi Party didn’t have the power to obtain addresses, names of directors, phone numbers of these companies as this information is protected under banking privacy and secrecy laws. They completed all checks within their scope and power and trusted the competent authorities to have done their job priorly. Even if you don’t agree with the above points, is it practically possible for any party to verify, in-depth, each one of 35,000 donations made in a very short span of time?

My questions to the media and several misinformed ‘bhakts’ and AAP detractors, who have ran circles around this issue with unbelievable imbecility and ignorance.

Do you think AAP would’ve bothered to convert their black money into white and then have the naivety to put it up on their website? Couldn’t they have just used up the black money (in cash) directly to fund their campaign? Do you think everybody is as stupid as you?

Do you think if AAP had done anything wrong with respect to these transactions, they would’ve uploaded it on the internet for the world to see? Would an ATM robber upload the CCTV footage of his robbery on Youtube? The very fact that all these details were taken from the AAP website proves that AAP’s political funding is transparent and clean to the core.

Do you even know what ‘Hawala’ means? Have you ever heard of hawala payments being made by cheque? Stop taking the Indian public for a ride.

I believe the media has some very educated, intellectual people on board in their economic, financial, and related teams who would know how weak the entire case was from the very beginning. Infact, a close relative of mine, who has 30+ years of experience in the financial sector, and is a staunch AAP critic and BJP follower, had slammed the media on hearing this episode. He straight away knew that AAP was not at fault and he even went to the extent of calling the media a sellout after seeing every news channel run the same news for the entire day without even checking the veracity and credibility of the claims.

Indian commoners are very gullible and can easily be influenced by even the slightest of murmurs. It only takes a spark to spread a fire in this nation. You can’t blame the people for attacking the AAP, after what was shown on the television yesterday. But after seeing the entire coverage, I can confidently say that media structure in India has collapsed beyond comprehension. Is this the sort of responsibility and accountability claimed by the fourth pillar of democracy? Is there no moral credibility left in this generation’s news enterprises? Is everything a question of money? Or are you willing to put journalistic ethics on the line for the sake of TRPs and Twitter trends?

It’s my heartfelt appeal to all informed and aware citizens of this country to not rely on the media for all your facts and information. You have the power of the internet at your disposable, use it wisely and responsibly. Be your own media.

The author can be followed on Twitter @QSportsLunatic.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “The AAP ‘funding scam’ farce – Is the media plain stupid or a sellout?

    • Every Indian knows that honest businesses & individuals always insist on payment by CHEQUE. Payment by cheque through a prominent bank is the “GOLD STANDARD” for ensuring you are getting legit money and releases the recipient from all liability as to the cleanliness of the received funds. The onus of ensuring the funds are clean in the country’s banking channels is ENTIRELY on the banking system and the various government agencies tasked with detecting & prosecuting financial fraud.

      I’m not a financial expert, just an average software engineer (logical) and still know this basic information. Wonder why so many educated people with access to internet and knowledge of basic banking are acting so dumb! Worse part is when cabinet level ministers and FINANCE minister jumps on this bandwagon to question the CHEQUE payment! Incredible India!

      Like

    • As far as I know, sensible news viewers have stopped watching Times Now because they’ve tried to create news rather than present news on far too many occasions. It’s only a matter of time before their TRPs drop and Arnab mends his ways. He surely knows what he’s doing, he doesn’t seem that naive.

      Like

  1. Brilliant! Corrupt parties like BJP and Congress who are now addicted to corrupt money and power and what not…cannot understand the meaning of clean politics which AAP is doing. Even a bimbo can understand that if AAP had any malafide intention they would not have put all these donations on their website. We have to give that much to the likes of AK(IIT/IRS), Yogendra Yadav(Psephologist), Admiral RamDas(Lokayukt in AAP)!!! However this also proves one thing… BJP has the most idiotic and demented people in its party!! Read that as GAWAANNRR!

    Like

    • Exactly. The problem is of reciprocation. Imbecile dimwits think everybody has the same level of ingenuity as them. Why would a party indulging in laundering black money put up details of the same on the internet?!

      Like

  2. Here is a thought, fine the banks didn’t check who the companies were. Fine the companies existed. Why are these companies interested in AAP?

    //Do you think if AAP had done anything wrong with respect to these transactions, they would’ve uploaded it on the internet for the world to see? Would an ATM robber upload the CCTV footage of his robbery on Youtube? //
    True but AAP has never been the wise one at that right? They also uploaded the Modi for PM, Kejriwal for CM video? The IT team is not exactly in sync with the general team?

    Another point is, there are claims about donations from Mother teresa, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. How did they get ‘cheques’ issued from these people? Anyways not a AAP fan but what I suspect is these records were fake inserted to puff up their confidence or perhaps a mischief by the data entry officer or glitch in software.

    Now before you take any offence, let me clarify I do not really care if AAP wins or BJP wins, but Kejriwal did break our trust last year and it is too soon to trust him back. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree. That is the biggest question right now. Why were these shell companies interested in AAP? That is subject to investigation and I completely believe Kejriwal when he says he’ll order an investigation if gets into power. Moreover, he has publicly asked the ruling BJP government to order an investigation into the matter. And as Meera Sanyal (ex-RBS India CEO) pointed out, one quick phone call to the bank CEO from the competent authorities will reveal everything. Then why the delay? Why the dilly-dallying if BJP have the power and the reason to do it?

      Would not like to comment on your second point, its too hypothetical and I, personally, don’t believe an ATM robber would upload the CCTV footage of his robbery on Youtube. Nobody is that stupid. The ‘Modi PM, Kejriwal CM’ was a deliberate campaign which backfired because it showed Modi in good light, something that AAP would never want.

      On your point #3, I would request you to check out the AAP donation system. You can enter any name you want to (although there’s a disclaimer), and make clean payments using Netbanking, Credit/Debit cards. The system takes your entered name, not the one on your account/card. I don’t know how these things work (whether one’s permitted to use banking name), so I can’t really comment.

      As I said, be informed and aware of any opinion you form, any allegation you make. I don’t call myself an AAP supporter, I believe in their political ideology. On the other hand, I commend the behind-the-scenes work being done by Modi and co. to improve the investment scenario in the country. There’s no bias, just opinion based on hard facts and evidence.

      Like

  3. The way I see it, BJP is so desperate that they MISUSED their position as the ruling party to get the Govt of India Ministers to level absurd & wild allegations filled with innuendo without producing a shred of evidence against AAP.

    If anything, the Govt of India tarnished it’s own reputation by advertising how companies with fraudulent addresses are openly operating with valid PAN numbers, TIN, bank accounts & registered with Registrar of Companies. Instead of launching an investigation into the multiple failures of various government agencies and banks, the ministers chose to do a dog & pony show to try and fool the gullible people a few days before the election!

    Like

  4. The worst and most idiotic/stupid/ignorant/arrogant statement was “At the stroke of midnight … kaaliraat .. ghane baadal … ghor andheraa …foxes howling … muffler man and cronies pur black money into the bank” by BJP folks, including dearest Modi. The folks don’t understand the concepts of cron jobs (unlike con jobs they do) and how the offline transactions are updated to master data base (may be an excel file that is pulled at a scheduled time and a script job is run to put the data to main database) and how the time stamp of the transaction did not matter.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Quora
  6. Came across this post quite by chance. Kudos for putting together a very balanced, logical and coherent account. It is very clear now that the media was, to quote John Lemmon in Some Like it Hot, ‘barking up the wrong fish.’

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s