AAP's funding is clean; BJP, Congress guilty of accepting foreign funds illegally
"AAP's funding is clean; BJP, Congress guilty of accepting foreign funds illegally"
- Delhi HC held Congress, BJP guilty of illegally accepting foreign funds in 2014, in violation of FCRA
- Union Home Ministry told Delhi HC in 2014 & 2015 that AAP's funding was clean and did not violate FCRA
The Congress and the BJP have both been indicted and found guilty by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Court had indicted both parties and directed the Election Commission and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take appropriate action against the two within 6 months for receiving illegal foreign funding from Vedanta subsidiaries. More than a year later, in June 2015, the Election Commission wrote to the MHA pushing for action against the two parties. After a contempt case was filed against the Government for failing to comply with the Court's decision, the Delhi HC has sought a response from the BJP Government over its non-compliance, and has asked why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the Government.
The BJP Government attempted to retrospectively amend the FCRA so as to overturn the Delhi HC's decision against the BJP and the Congress in December, 2016. During a press conference regarding the issue, senior leader of the party Atishi Marlena said, "The FCRA was amended through the backdoor by introducing it as a Money Bill by the BJP last year, shielding it from a Rajya Sabha veto. The amendment changed the meaning of "foreign sources" in a manner that would legalize the donations made by Vedanta to both parties. Unfortunately, this retrospective protection would only make valid donations made after 2010. The donations received by both from Vedanta from 2004 to 2010 continue to be illegal, and the MHA must take action against them immediately."
Aam Aadmi Party's funding mechanism and processes are the most transparent among all political parties in India. The party has always acted strictly as per the law of the land and has even gone out of its way to set high standards of probity for other parties to follow. The Union Government, both during Congress rule (2014) and in BJP rule (2015) has gone on record in the Delhi High Court certifying that AAP's funding is clean and legal, despite all attempts to look for discrepancies by both governments. The Ministry of Home Affairs, on both occasions has clarified in the High Court that AAP was not guilty of receiving foreign funding illegally and the party was not in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
National Spokesperson Dilip Pandey said, "The Congress government filed an affidavit in the High Court on 7th May 2014 after scrutinizing AAP's accounts that no illegal foreign funds had been accepted by the party, and therefore no FCRA violation had taken place. A similar affidavit was filed by the BJP Government in on 18th February, 2015. Despite their governments repeatedly stating this fact in Court, both parties repeatedly lie about AAP's funding to malign the party's image."
The reality when it comes to transparency and probity in political funding is that although the AAP has set new and higher standards over the last three years, parties like the BJP and Congress continue to malign the party without any evidence. Ironically, these same parties have been found guilty of receiving illegal foreign funds over the last decade and no action is taken against them despite this.