Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal:
Satyagraha if donation list to the Party Funding Details not made public by December 3, 2016
November 25, 2016
Subject: Satyagraha for Clean Money in AAP
On the eve of Foundation Day (November 26) of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), I wish to bring to your kind attention that the list of donations from party’s website was removed more than 5 months back.
Despite the presence of more than 1800 political parties in India, you and many others took a stand that we need a NEW political party because we need to change the political culture in India. To bring ‘Vyastha parivartan’, AAP was launched with 3 fundamental principles:
- Public funded Party: This is our core principle. To create a corruption-free India, we stated that we would start with an absolute financial transparency in our own party. We pledged to ourselves and the public that AAP would be a purely public funded party and we would provide details of each penny donated to the public.
- End high command culture and strengthen inner-party emocracy in the party by bringing Swaraj.
- Internal vigilance by appointing an Internal Lokpal. The party will also provide the right to reject and right to recall rights to the party members and volunteers.
Removing the details of donations to our party is a serious violation of our own principle and the core value. It is a serious breach of trust between the party and its stakeholders (the donors, volunteers, patrons, and supporters).
If we deviate from showing details of political donations to our party, then what is left behind? AAP was created to do honest politics. Naturally, that starts with honest political funding and transparent accounting.
Arvind, lakhs of people have supported AAP because we set a high ideal for ourselves: Corruption-free India is not our mere demand; it is our insistence (भ्रष्टाचार मुक्त भारत हमारी मांग नहीं, हमारी जिद्द है).
How can we swear for removing corruption in India, when we cannot even show financial transparency to our own donors? Lack of financial transparency can lead to the virus of corruption. Thus, Let us set our first step correct: A corruption –free AAP is the pre requisite before we promise a Corruption-free India to our fellow citizens!
In your interview to Ankit Tyagi of Aaj Tak on November 07, 2016, when asked why AAP has removed the list of donations from its website, you replied that Central Government has started raiding our donors, thus we cannot show our donations.
People have donated and nurtured the party like patriots (desh bhakts) because we gave them to understand that AAP is not a mere political party, it is a 2nd war for independence (Aazadi ki doosri ladai). Our donors have donated like kranti-kaaris. People supported and donated to the party because they could feel a revolutionary zeal by slogans given by you like “Niklo bahr makanoon se, Jung lado baimaano se”.
How can we NOW betray them by hiding their financial contributions? On a personal note, I have donated Lakhs to rupees to the party and I do not fear any persecution from any authorities.
The way the Aam Aadmi Party has masked the donations from the public, the way you have decided to give excuses for not providing details of donations, I feel pained and betrayed as a volunteer and a party member. I request truthfulness to be restored without any further delay.
I cannot even think that AAP will compromise with the core principle of financial transparency. The donations to the party were made by people and they are the stakeholders of our party. The public needs to know the details and this is our promise to them as a party.
My specific requests are the following and I urge you to restore them ASAP:
- The AAP website must put back details of all the donations (starting with Rupee 1 and above) at our website since inception of the party. This should be done ASAP and the donation list should be up-to-date.
- To respect the principle of transparency and accountability, donations on AAP website must be searchable by name (example: If I search for Anil Kumar, all donations by all donors by this name must appear). The earlier practice of finding donation by receipt number makes the things cumbersome for the donors and public.
- Annual Balance Sheets of AAP’s income and expenses are missing from its website after March 31, 2014. They must be put in public domain ASAP.
- The real details of 2 Crores (4 checks of Rs. 50 Lakh each) donated to be the party in April of 2014 (deposited in the AAP account in July 2014) are still missing. You had stated in an interview on February 2, 2015 with Barkha Dutt of NDTV that you would be the first person to order an inquiry into these dubious donations if we come to power. We are in power now and the public deserves the real answers.
Arvind: AAP started like a revolution. If we fail in our core principle of financial accountability, public will feel cheated. We cannot let that happen. We cannot fiddle with our accounts or give that impression by hiding our donations. By hiding donations to our party, we are also creating an impression that our party is acting as a medium to consume black money.
I request you to kindly restore the financial accountability of AAP – as specified via my 4 requests- by December 3, 2016- a week from the Foundation Day of Aam Aadmi Party. If this is not done, supporters, members and donors like me will have no option but to go for a Satyagraha. That is my personal pledge to myself for the country because I cannot compromise on financial integrity of a party for which I have given time, resources, and money.
Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada
Board Certified Neonatologist
Suspended member of AAP
Ex-co convener of NRI Affairs of AAP
+1 217 720 9331 (cell)
PS: Please do not label me a stooge of any other party or an election gimmick. You know that I was unjustly suspended from the party for raising issues of transparency. I have requested to our Internal Lokpal to inquire my unjust suspension, but no one has replied to me so far. I do not belong to any other political party. Do not label me a Congress party member either as I have already refuted these charges.
Shri Anna Hazare