New Delhi : With an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has started calling for donation from supporters to fund their campaigns.
The AAP leadership, however, has decided not to make the donor list and donation details public to ensure ‘safety and privacy of donors’. The party, however, will continue to account for every penny received as donations.
AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai said that right before elections, when the donations spike, several complaints were received by donors from India and other countries that they were being harassed by Opposition parties for their private details. The donors were also allegedly discouraged from making further contributions to the party.
“While making our financial transactions transparent was our primary agenda, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the people standing with us do not face any harassment,” said Rai.
When HT checked the party’s website on Thursday, the details of donations and donors were missing. Rai said that all the details are being maintained and the documents are being timely submitted to the income tax department.
Leaders said that the party has been mulling over the removal of the donor list from the website for several months owing to the increasing complaints of harassment. In 2016, the party had also removed the list temporarily citing the same reason.
The list, however, was uploaded again after criticism on their claims of maintaining transparency during their elections campaigns.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had sent a showcause notice to the AAP for allegedly concealing its actual income for the 2014-15 financial year. The EC also gave the party a deadline of 20 days to respond to why their recognition should not be withdrawn, failing which the poll panel will decide the matter based on the “information available on record”.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had flagged to the election commission an alleged mismatch in AAP’s actual and reported donations.
In his letter to then Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Joti, CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra had said that AAP had not disclosed the source of donations adding up to Rs 13.16 crore
News Source : https://www.hindustantimes.com