BJP corruption – Corruption, Scams and Scandals of the BJP governments – April 2006 IMC Special Edition Digest

Indian Muslim Council, USA (IMC-USA)

‘Defending India’s freedom, democracy and pluralism’

IMC-USA Special Edition Digest –
April 2006

Corruption, Scams and Scandals of the BJP governments

Corruption, Scams and Scandals of the BJP governments

BJP – The ‘party with a difference’

Kargil war coffins / arms scam – 2001

Defence deals scandal – 2001

Cash-for-query Scam – 2005

Development Fund (MPLADS Scheme) Scam – 2005

Dilip Singh Judeo: Chattisgarh Corruption Scandal – 2003

Land allotment scam – 2002

Ekal Vidyalaya Scam – 1999 – 2005

Petrol pump and gas agencies scam – 2002

Jain Hawala Scandal

Other Scams / Scandals

BJP – The ‘Clean’ Party

Web Links

BJP – The ‘party with a difference’

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) : Delhi Pledge (3 Aug 2002)

DELHI PLEDGE

“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.

http://www.bjp.org/newsite/index.php?file=s-viewcategory&tag=Aug0302a.htm&catid=162

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BJP alone can root out corruption: Vajpayee (22 Jan 1997, The Hindu)

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.

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Kargil war coffins / arms scam – 2001

Kargil coffin politics returns to haunt BJP (11 Dec 2001, The Telegraph)

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.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1011212/front_pa.htm

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Now, ‘Kargil coffin’ haunts Govt. (12 Dec 2001, The Hindu)

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.

http://www.thehindu.com/2001/12/12/stories/2001121200370100.htm

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For the widows of those dead in the Kargil war – By Avijit Ghosh (15 Sep 2004, The Telegraph)

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.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040915/asp/atleisure/story_3756495.asp

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Coffin scandal rages in India (12 Dec 2001, BBC)

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.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1703495.stm

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Defence funds ‘misused’ in the name of Kargil: CAG (27 Mar 2002, Mid Day)

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.

http://web.mid-day.com/news/nation/2002/march/22445.htm

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Defence deals scandal – 2001

Operation West End – By Aniruddha Bahal & Mathew Samuel (Tehelka)

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.

http://www.tehelka.com/home/20041009/operation/investigation1.htm

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Website exposes govt’s shady defence deals (13 Mar 2001, The Tribune)

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.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010314/main1.htm

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Scandal In India: Making News, Creating Corruption – CNN Insight (14 Mar 2001, CNN)

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.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0103/14/i_ins.00.html

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Tehelka expose is just tip of an iceberg — Bhagwat (24 Mar 2001, Express India)

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.

http://www.expressindia.com/ie/daily/20010324/ifr24019.html

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More defence deals under CBI scanner – By J Venkatesan (14 Apr 2005, The Hindu)

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.”

http://www.thehindu.com/2005/04/14/stories/2005041401571200.htm

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Hindutva For a Few Dollars a Day – By Biju Mathew and Vijay Prashad (25 Apr 2001, Z Magazine)

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?

http://www.zmag.org/ZSustainers/ZDaily/2001-04/25prashad.htm

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BJP chief attacks arms scam (13 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.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1218445.stm

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Govt plans burial of defence scam: Cong (27 Mar 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.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/mar/27def1.htm

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Now, a blot over Tehelka probe (25 Apr 2005, Rediff)

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.”

http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/apr/29def.htm

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Govt should wind up Venkataswami Commission: Tejpal (15 Oct 2001, Rediff)

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.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/oct/15tej.htm

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Cash-for-query Scam – 2005

BJP, BSP suspend MPs caught on camera taking bribes (12 Dec 2005, Rediff)

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.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/dec/12bjp.htm

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Advani faces ‘stupidity’ fire – Glare on Opposition leader role (27 Dec 2005, The Telegraph)

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,”