Indian Muslim Council, USA (IMC-USA)
‘Defending India’s freedom, democracy and pluralism’
IMC-USA Special Edition Digest –
Corruption, Scams and Scandals of the BJP governments
BJP – The ‘party with a difference’
Kargil war coffins / arms scam – 2001
- Kargil coffin politics returns to haunt BJP
- Now, ‘Kargil coffin’ haunts Govt.
- For the widows of those dead in the Kargil war – By Avijit Ghosh
- Coffin scandal rages in India
- Defence funds ‘misused’ in the name of Kargil: CAG
Defence deals scandal – 2001
- Operation West End – By Aniruddha Bahal & Mathew Samuel
- Website exposes govt’s shady defence deals
- Scandal In India: Making News, Creating Corruption – CNN Insight
- Tehelka expose is just tip of an iceberg — Bhagwat
- More defence deals under CBI scanner – By J Venkatesan
- Hindutva For a Few Dollars a Day – By Biju Mathew and Vijay Prashad
- BJP chief attacks arms scam
- Govt plans burial of defence scam: Cong
- Now, a blot over Tehelka probe
- Govt should wind up Venkataswami Commission: Tejpal
Cash-for-query Scam – 2005
- BJP, BSP suspend MPs caught on camera taking bribes
- Advani faces ‘stupidity’ fire – Glare on Opposition leader role
- A bold beginning – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan
- Do we need the BJP anymore? – By T V R Shenoy
- Can’t expel tainted MPs: BJP
Development Fund (MPLADS Scheme) Scam – 2005
- Lok Sabha orders probe into development fund scam
- A bold beginning – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan
- The case against MPLADS – By Purnima S Tripathi
Dilip Singh Judeo: Chattisgarh Corruption Scandal – 2003
- An image of corruption – Purnima S Tripathi
- Caught on tape: Union Minister taking cash, saying money is no less than God
- BJP’s Judeo caught accepting money on tape
- Cong goes for Judeo’s jugular – By Rajesh Ramachandran
- Money for minister – Editorial
- Judeo stopped forcible conversions, says Advani
- Experts find Judeo tape ‘genuine’: CBI
Land allotment scam – 2002
- The real estate pie – By Purnima S. Tripathi
- Even govt homes razed to favour BJP’s own
- Ministers, not group, to scan scams
- NDA bent rules to get RSS outfits prime plots, confirms probe – By Ritu Sarin
- Sangh looks after its own, friends are welcome too – By Ritu Sarin & Bhavna Vij
Ekal Vidyalaya Scam – 1999 – 2005
- Centre stops grants to ‘one-teacher schools’ – By Anita Joshua
- Another Blow to V.H.P – By Mukundan C Menon
Petrol pump and gas agencies scam – 2002
- Yes, 73% of NDA pumps tainted, confirms SC
- Sack Ram Naik: CPI(M)
- Leaders and dealers – By Purnima S Tripathi
- Fill it, shut it, don’t forget it – By Shekhar Gupta
- Former judges pumped up marks, and how! – By Manoj Mitta
- Credit for legwork – By Naunidhi Kaur
Jain Hawala Scandal
- Court `nails down’ Advani’s claim in Hawala case
- HC seeks IT assessment report of Jain-Hawala scam accused
- Jain Hawala Case – Clueless investigators, subverted state
- Jain Hawala Case – Diaries as evidence – By Sudha Mahalingam
Other Scams / Scandals
- BJP’s Corrupt Face Once Again Bared – By Harkishan Singh Surjeet
- Watch out for a temple complex along 50 acres of the Yamuna – By Ritu Sarin & Dalip Singh
- Gupta’s thanksgiving to Sangh is at Govt’s cost
- Another sordid disinvestment scam – By Dipankar Mukherjee
- BJP in a soup; Sanjay Joshi quits after sex scandal
- Corruption Charges Against BJP Govt The Day of Reckoning is Not Far Away – By Harkishan Singh Surjeet
- Court seeks details of money spent on ‘India Shining’
- Tasks ahead for UPA – By Zafarul-Islam Khan
- Nagpur Witnesses Scam Face Of BJP – By Arun Latkar
- Sell-Out Of National Wealth – BALCO Style! – By Tapan Sen
BJP – The ‘Clean’ Party
- Corruption hurts BJP: Advani
- ‘Most corrupt CM’ Bangarappa joins BJP
- Judeo, MP?
- How to find a lotus in the muck – By Sucheta Dalal
- After RSS, BJP too reinstates Sanjay Joshi
BJP – The ‘party with a difference’
“Yes, We are a Party with a Difference; and Ours is a Government with a Difference”
Adopted at the National Council meeting of the BJP at New Delhi on August 3, 2002 …
It is this combination of solid and sustained work on the ground; uncompromising espousal of nationalism; dedicated and disciplined organizational network; and inspiring and incorruptible leadership that helped the BJP win people’s support, goodwill and credibility, and thereby grow from strength to strength almost all over the country in record time. These factors made the people believe that here is a Party with a Difference – different in terms of ideology, idealism, leadership and behavior….
We proudly reiterate our commitment to continue to remain a Party with a Difference. We affirm with equal pride that ours is a Government with a Difference.
It is our resolve to make the “Difference” factor more pronounced in the time to come.
- Party with differences – By V Venkatesan (Aug 17 – 30, 2002, Frontline – Vol 19, Iss 17)
Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, BJP leader, said today that at this juncture when corruption, was rampant, “the country needs a party like the BJP to root out this malady.”
He was addressing the delegates at the party’s third State conference on Tuesday.
- Vajpayee heads a government of scams and scandals: Sonia (30 Mar 2003, Rediff)
Kargil war coffins / arms scam – 2001
The chickens have come home to roost. In 1999, the BJP and the Sangh parivar chanced on a “novel” strategy of squeezing the emotive value of the Kargil war by making elaborate arrangements to send the bodies of the slain soldiers in decorated caskets to their families instead of a funeral in the war zone, as was the practice.
Five months later when the country went to polls, the BJP’s Kargil strategy paid dividends in some seats and helped its alliance reach the magic figure that brought Atal Bihari Vajpayee to power.
Two years later, the same coffins have come to haunt the NDA government, thanks to a special report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India on the Kargil-era procurement. The report detected gross irregularities in the purchase of coffins by the army. It brought Parliament to a standstill today and had the BJP at its wit’s end on how to evolve a counter-offensive.
According to the CAG, an inflated amount was paid for the aluminium caskets bought to send the bodies. Many of these caskets were found to be oversized and useless. Now the army is left with caskets valued at Rs 1.47 crore but too heavy to be used….
“The issue is not just about corruption, it is linked to national pride. We went on an emotional high after the Kargil war and it helped us. We fear that this episode may pull us down equally swiftly because the very word kafan (coffin) is emotionally fraught with memories of Kargil,” an MP said.
- Coffin scandal unites opposition parties (12 Dec 2001, Rediff)
- Kargil coffin scam: Oppn turns on the heat (12 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
- Coffin scam: Govt may adjourn Parliament sine die early (12 Dec 2001, Express India)
A determined Opposition today hauled the BJP-led coalition Government over the coals, charging it with financial impropriety in the `Kargil coffin scam’ and forcing adjournment of both Houses of Parliament.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were plunged in turmoil as
slogan-shouting Opposition members waved copies of an English daily that carried a CAG report on financial impropriety in purchase of coffins for the jawans who laid down their lives in mid-1999 during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan….
The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who too was interrupted, demanded the resignation of the Defence Minister. The report had shocked the nation, he said, and attacked the Government for such a “sordid” state of affairs that it did not even show respect in death to those who had sacrificed their lives for the country.
- Kargil coffin scam slap on Fernandes ministry (11 Aug 2003, The Telegraph)
- Uproar in Lok Sabha over ‘Kargil coffins’ (11 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
- Parliament adjourned over Kargil coffins scam (12 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
Jyotsna Dwivedi… filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court… According to the petition, over 40 per cent of Kargil war widows have not benefitted from any rehabilitation package promised to them. Many feel that apart from naming roads and squares to honour those who laid down their lives for the country, the government has done little in real terms. “In many cases, there is scant evidence that the government has taken concrete steps to help the war widows
and their families,” says Dwivedi….
The petition also requested the court to order the government to produce before the court all the relevant materials on the subject at hand for scrutiny, set out the names of widows of the Kargil martyrs and the benefits so far given to them as per the welfare package, as well as the reasons for the delay.
- PM says coffin scam unfounded, gives clean chit to George (11 Feb 2002, Express India)
- Kargil coffins scam: Report raps Defence Ministry (11 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
- George faces Oppn wrath (12 Dec 2001, The Tribune)
Both houses of parliament were adjourned over the affair which centres on a report that the government paid vastly inflated sums for coffins for soldiers killed in Kashmir in 1999.
Not only were the 500 aluminium coffins overpriced, but the US-based supplier failed to meet Indian specifications….
A report in The Times of India newspaper says the Comptroller and Auditor General found that the government had paid an American company $2,500 for each of the 500 coffins.
But five years earlier, it had only paid $172 per coffin.
Moreover, many of the coffins were never used, being rejected as too heavy.
- Oppn bays for Fernandes’ head in coffin scam (11 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
- Fernandes urges probe into coffin scam (31 May 2004, Deccan Herald)
- Coffins star in Kargil charade (25 Jan 2002, The Telegraph)
Three months after exposing the Kargil coffin scam, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has strongly indicted the Government for procuring anti-aircraft missiles and explosive-release cartridges in the name of ‘Operation Vijay’ when both the contracts were “unnecessary”.
Taking exception to the Navy importing 104 anti-aircraft missiles worth 5.72 million US dollars by projecting it as a requirement for Kargil war, the CAG in its latest report tabled in Parliament, said “unnecessary procurement of missiles for Kargil operations resulted in avoidable expenditure of Rs 24.77 crore.”
“The rates contracted were more than twice those of 1996,” the CAG report, which comes on the heels of revelations on import of coffins for Kargil martyrs at exorbitant prices causing a political storm, said.
The CAG said 34,000 explosive cartridges were imported for ‘Op Vijay’ with the items being costlier than those indigenously manufactured by the Ordnance Factories. The CAG also took the Government to task for misuse of special financial powers of disbursement of Rs ten crore given to Northern Army Commander to meet urgent and immediate requirements of counter-insurgency operations and internal security duties.
- Coffin scam: Supreme Court seeks details (16 Jul 2004, The Hindu)
- Unnecessary weapon deals in the name of Kargil: CAG (12 Dec 2001, Mid Day)
Defence deals scandal – 2001
A story of how the suitcase people are compromising Indian defence
Tehelka blows the cover off the unholy nexus of politicians, senior defence personnel and ubiquitous fixers who infiltrate and infest every defence deal. Floating a fictitious company flogging non-existent thermal imaging binoculars, the Tehelka Investigative Team encountered and cracked the closely guarded bastion of manufacturers, agents and their military and political patrons running up to the highest offices in the land. This is the story of how we went about demolishing the last illusion of the Indian democratic state. It is a tale replete with appalling avarice, ackstabbing, bribery and inducement. Shockingly, no one the investigation touched emerged untainted.
- Transcript of meeting with Bangaru Laxman – Operation West End (Tehelka)
- Bribes paid during the course of Operation West End (Tehelka)
The BJP President, Mr Bangaru Laxman, tonight resigned from the post following the exposure of his alleged involvement in a defence deal by a website, even as Defence Minister George Fernandes offered to resign from the Cabinet. However, Mr Fernandes was persuaded by his Cabinet colleagues not to take any hasty decision.
Mr Laxman’s move to quit the party post came minutes after the Union Cabinet held a three-hour-long discussion on the expose and said it was prepared to inquire into the exposure involving the BJP chief, Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley and a number of senior Army officials.
- Party boss quits after web sting (13 Mar 2001, BBC)
- Radars that don’t work, parachutes that didn’t land (13 May 2005, Indian Express)
In a sting operation lasting several months, two Tehelka journalists set up an elaborate cover using a fictitious company that offered to broker the sale of defense equipment. The videotape released on Tuesday purports to show bureaucrats, defense officials and officials in the ruling BJP-led coalition accepting money.
The Web site says these were bribes paid to get defense contracts approved.
TARUN TEJPAL, TEHELKA.COM: You know, the sad thing was the levels of greed. The greed was blinding. I mean, these are basically two very fine reporters, but amateurs in the world of military hardware and financial skullduggery. But nobody – nobody blew their cover. Every week, I thought their cover would go. But the greed was so blinding that people were just looking at the money. They really weren’t worried.
RAMGOPAL: One of those on the videotape, the president of the BJP, Bangaru Laxman, says he accepted the money thinking it was a donation to the party. Laxman denies any wrongdoing but has resigned his post.
BANGARU LAXMAN, FMR. BJP PRESIDENT: My conscience is clear. I’m ready to face a thorough inquiry into the matter, which I am sure will clear my name.
- Scandal threatens Indian coalition (14 Mar 2001, BBC)
- The Tehelka tapes (14 Mar 2001, BBC)
- Chaos in Indian parliament (23 Mar 2001, BBC)
- India proposes code of ethics (29 Mar 2001, BBC)
Former Naval chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat on Thursday fully justified the Tehelka.Com expose and said what the portal has captured in the camera on defence deals was just `tip of an iceberg’.
Without naming anyone, Bhagawat, who was unceremoniously ousted as chief of Indian Navy, said some top leaders of the country have `compromised’ on defence deals and everything have been video-taped by foreign agencies. These agencies are now blackmailing our leaders and forcing them to act according to their tune, he said.
Bhagawat said this defence deals expose was just a beginning, if the NDA government was allowed to remain in power for a 5-year term the country would become a slave of our enemy countries… Alleging that a large number of defence personnel and officials were given promotion and transferred to key posts, Bhagwat said, through this, the NDA government wanted to create no hassle while passing important files. He alleged large-scale irregularities in the posting and promotions in the Defence Ministry and armed forces.
- CVC may probe defence deals scam (15 Mar 2001, Rediff)
- Tehelka tapes have been tampered with, says Bangaru (14 Jan 2002, Times of India)
- Tehelka scam: CBI cases against Bangaru, Jaitley (6 Dec 2004, India Info)
The Comptroller and Auditor-General, while scrutinising the 123 defence purchase deals, had found irregularities in 35 cases. While the CBI is already conducting a probe in respect of three cases on the recommendations of the Central Vigilance Commission, 25 more cases are now to be probed.
The Court had issued notice to the Centre on a public interest petition filed by Dhananjay Chauhan alleging that the irregularities in the Kargil scam caused a loss of Rs. 2,175 crores to the exchequer….
“The Government is now exploring whether the facts reveal a prima facie case of commission of criminal offences under law as heavy financial losses in excess of Rs. 2,000 crores [as per the CAG Report] were caused, in addition to the fact that the equipment did not materialise in the time of its need.” The new affidavit made it clear that “the Government is committed to taking strict action against officials/authorities, including the former Defence Minister, [George Fernandes] if it is found that the excuse of Kargil war was taken to make the purchases with a motive of personal benefit in violation of rules and regulations.”
- Defence scams insult to soldiers: Sonia (8 Feb 2002, The Tribune)
- CBI to probe Tehelka expose (22 Oct 2004, The Hindu)
- Tehelka expose shows intelligence failure – By Girja Shankar Kaura (23 Mar 2001, Tribune)
- Govt sends to CBI details of 10 Defence deals signed by NDA during Op Vija (27 Jun 2005, Indian Express)
Bangru Laxman asks the intrepid tehelka.com journalists to bring him $30,000 to their next meeting. He has already taken Rs. 1 lakh. “You can give dollars,” said the President of the BJP. “You talk to us directly. We normally turn to [National Security Advisor] Brajesh Mishra because he has access to the defense, foreign and other related ministries.” The tehelka.com sting showed a web of corruption that spans the BJP, the RSS, the Samata Party, sections of the Armed Forces and the illegal arms brokers. What is Mr. Laxman, head of the so-called patriotic BJP, doing with bribes, even more so what does it mean that he wanted the money in dollars?
- Government orders CBI probe into Tehelka expose – By J. Venkatesan (4 Oct 2004, Yahoo India! News)
- CBI books Jaya, Bangaru for bribery (6 Dec 2004, Mid Day)
- India orders arms scandal inquiry (16 Mar 2001, BBC)
The president of India’s ruling party has hit back at allegations by an Indian website of involvement in taking money in connection with supposed defence deals.
There is no question of resigning. Why should I resign?
BJP president Bangaru Laxman
Bangaru Laxman, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said he was a victim of a political conspiracy and that he accepted the money only for the party….
Mr Laxman, who became BJP president last year, said he had accepted 100,000 rupees ($2,170) as a donation for the party.
“As president I am not barred from taking funds for the party,” he said.
- Home ministry checking if Tehelka violated law (24 Aug 2001, Times of India)
- Govt to press charge against Tehelka (18 Sep 2001, Times of India)
- Tehelka expose: Armymen bribed with prostitutes – By Sheela Bhatt (22 Aug 2001, Rediff)
The Congress Tuesday expressed apprehension over the impartiality of the Venkatswami Commission probe into the tehelka.com allegation, underscoring that its terms of reference was so phrased so as to “give a clean burial to the defence scandal,” according to party spokesman S Jaipal Reddy.
“The terms of reference exclude the conduct of the former Bharatiya Janata Party chief Bangaru laxman and his former Samata party counterpart Jaya Jaitly,” Reddy pointed out.
He contended that the terms of reference “also precludes the examination of the blatant misuse of the former defence minister (George Fernandes’) residential premises” where illegal money changed hands.
- Legal implications of Tehelka expose (27 Mar 2001, The Hindu)
- Corruption as Spectator Sport – By Samuel Paul (31 Mar 2001, Economic & Political Weekly)
In a new twist to the controversy surrounding the ‘clean chit’ to former defence minister George Fernandes in the ‘Tehelka’ scam, a news magazine has claimed that Justice S N Phukan undertook a ‘week-long junket’ courtesy the defence ministry while investigating alleged corruption in defence deals.
‘Outlook’, in its forthcoming issue, has claimed that it has details that Justice Phukan, his wife and some lawyers of the Tehelka Commission were provided a specially chartered VVIP aircraft of the Indian Air Force to travel to Shirdi, Pune, Ahmednagar and Mumbai from Delhi in December 2003….
At every destination, the magazine claimed, the judge and his entourage enjoyed the hospitality of one of the three defence forces… The ostensible reason for the trip was that the judge wanted to familiarise himself with the weapons system he was inquiring into.
However, a lawyer of the Commission, who was on the trip, was quoted as saying, “It was more of a holiday than anything else.”
- Tehelka expose: Oppn flays panel’s clean chit to George (5 Feb 2004, Deccan Herald)
- Tape tests for Indian ‘corruption’ (10 May 2003, BBC)
The Chief Executive Officer of tehelka.com, Tarun Tejpal, has reacted sharply to the return of George Fernandes to the Union cabinet, saying if the government is not serious in getting to the bottom of the defence scam, it should wind up the Venkataswami Commission….
Fernandes, while resigning from his post had said that he would return to the cabinet only after Venkataswami Commission cleared his name.
The commission is still in the process of probing the allegations levelled by tehelka against several politicians and army officers, of accepting bribes for approving defence contracts.
- Tehelka or tera kya? – By Admiral J G Nadkarni (retd) (15 Mar 2001, Rediff)
- Unedited Tehelka tapes for noticees (16 Jan 2002, Times of India)
Cash-for-query Scam – 2005
Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday suspended about half a dozen members of Parliament caught on camera purportedly taking bribes for raising questions in the House….
Advani said office bearers have spoken to some of the MPs allegedly involved in the scam. “When the whole country is debating probity in public life, our own MPs have been charged with showing greed for raising questions in Parliament,” he said….
The MPs shown on TV taking bribes were BJP Lok Sabha members M K Anna Patil (Erandol-Maharashtra) Y G Mahajan (Jalgoan-Maharashtra), Pradip Gandhi (Rajnandgao-Chattisgarh) and Suresh Chandel (Hamirpur-Himachal Pradesh). Congress MP Ram Sevak Singh (Gwalior), Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Kumar (Palamau-Jharkhand) and Bahujan Samaj Party MPs Narendra Kumar Kushwaha (Mirzapur-UP) and Lal Chandra (Robertsganj-UP), Raja Ram Pal (Balhour-UP) and BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Orissa Chatra Pal Singh Lodha were also shown accepting money.
- TV channel shows MPs taking bribe (12 Dec 2005, Express India)
Lal Krishna Advani seems to have upset a large section of the BJP and the Sangh with his comment on the MPs involved in the cash-for-questions scam that they had committed an act of “stupidity”.
This statement, coupled with his widely criticised strategy in Parliament for the last two sessions, has raised strong questions about his ability to continue as leader of the Opposition….
Half of a dozen of the MPs were from the BJP. There are also three more involved in the constituency development scam that followed the cash-for-questions revelation.
So widespread is the anger against Advani’s remarks that some delegates fear it may get raised in either the national executive or the national council meeting. “We were seen to be shielding the corrupt. How can a party with a difference take that stand before the entire nation? This is shameful,”