Anna, Kejriwal: Twisted Lies and Malpractices
Since 2003 I knew Anna Hazare and had interviewed him many times for TV shows and on stage. When last Jantar Mantar happened in April 2011 which gave Anna national and international fame, then I was in Vienna (Wien). When I came back Anna and his associates were preparing for Ramleela which took place in August 2011 which made Anna an icon. Two years ago, in 2010, Anna decided to resort to Satyagraha in maharastra and wrote a letter declaring me to be his first satyagrahi (This letter was mentioned by Lalu Prasad Yadav in one of his Lokpal debate in the Parliament which was uploaded on my facebook). That satyagraha did not take place in 2010 but Jantar-Mantar and Ramleela did happen in Delhi in 2011 and Anna Hazare became an icon. I started blogging for him (There are lot of things between the lines which I have elaborated in my book). I use to go to Ralegan generally on every Sunday and Anna use to write 7 to 8 blogs after discussion which was a regular practice. Many times he asked me to interview him and record it on my mobile. In those interviews (I have those clippings) I realised he has no faith in Team Anna and something is cooking in Team Anna’s mind and Anna’s mind as well.
One day suddenly he asked me what will be the expenses if we start Pan Indian movement. I asked him is your team ready for this kind of thing? He replied, ‘what will be the team without me? Which team are we talking about here?’ He specifically mentioned Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodiya and their PCRF account (Public Cause Research Foundation). Anna needed a vanity van to travel all over. I suggested he get the van made from Deepak Chabria (DC) but he said, ‘my money lies in their accounts so you better speak to them’. Then the meeting took place in Ralegan, between me, Anna, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, and Kejriwal. KB, AK and PB were uncomfortable because of my presence. They even arrogantly challenged Anna’s authority to appoint a separate blogger. The trio led by Kejriwal was very unhappy by the idea of vanity van. They asked Anna to travel by train which hurt Anna because again and again Anna called me aside and said, ‘this is my money donated by people on my brand.’ Ultimately, I left that meeting without conclusion.
Behind closed doors, Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran bedi fought badly with Anna for appointing me as a blogger and they also fought on PCRF funds issues. Anna told me about this incident. He even said, ‘Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal had tried to tell me that you are shiv-sena, MNS and NCP’s man’. This was an absolute lie. Even today they try to spread this rumour in Delhi and among their followers. This is like ‘call him dog and shoot him’ strategy. Anna had a press meet in which the trio declared Anna is on maunvrat and declared that there will be no restructuring of the team and the rest is history. Then the trio left. Suresh Pathare, Anna’s PA went to see them off.
In this whole process Suresh Pathare kept an eye on me on behalf of the trio. Again and again he asked me to “cooperate” with the trio. I and Anna had a meeting. Anna was disturbed. He told me that I am fed up with malpractices of these people and gave me power of attorney to his blogs and told me not to leak the blog to this trio as decided earlier. This was my last meeting Anna.
Next day Anna went to Delhi and everything changed. He denied that he knows me. He sacked me as a blogger verbally and announced the blog close. Then I made that controversial letter public which was written and signed by Anna. Rest is history (I have elaborated in detail this story in my blog even with its nuances).
It was shattering and completely depressing experience for one who worked hard, voluntarily and selflessly (without taking any compensation). For any person of integrity this is a terrible experience. Once I made that letter public my anger diminished. Then I thought as a political analyst, researcher and writer that it is my duty to find out what exactly is the motive of this anti-corruption movement. Why Anna is easily blackmailed by Kejriwal and trio? Then I stumbled on its bi-lateral process. I began with donations, funds, PCRF, accounts, tax returns etc.
I remember once Kejriwal had an argument with villagers of Ralegan about keeping all the donations in name of Brand Anna in PCRF and Kejriwal on record said ‘sorry’ for ‘misrepresentation’ which was not ‘misrepresentation’ but ‘malpractice’ in reality. To eyewash people Kejriwal did a drama of returning unaccounted money which was absolute lie. To whom those 40 lacs were returned by Kejriwal and Sisodiya, still I am trying to search!
There were superficial donations for Anna when Anna did not have an account in this ‘Anna movement’. Some people donated for IAC. But actual money went to PCRF account. Apart from tax invasion there are so many complex funds raising fraudulent mechanism including donation in cash. Now they are a political force so it will be interesting to see what they will do with the donations, cash as well as cheques!
Apart from this when I explored PCRF, IAC and other organizations led by Kejriwal, Bedi and Sisodiya, I realised it was done for power, fame and money (Elaborated in my book ‘OPIUM OF RAMLEELA’). But the question remains here for me; on what basis this trio resorted to arm twisting? I further explored Anna’s ‘contribution’ and social audit of his work which is interesting, shattering and devastating. When reader reads about Arvind Kejriwal, Sisodiya, Bedi and Bhushan’s accounts and their mechanism of accumulating wealth they will be surprised by their ‘A-plus’ honesty which was ‘certified’ on Times Now by Arnab Goswami, Chetan Bhagat, Anupan Kher, Archana Puran Singh and other 22 eminent personalities and all those who have faith in Team Anna.
These are the pages which compelled Anna to bow down in front of the team. In book I have written in detail which will compel ‘them’ (Team Anna) to bow down before ‘you’. Now you have to decide whose honesty, A-plus is impeccable and how our eminent personalities are cut off from real life.
This will lead to even bigger conspiracy of Team Anna which is almost anti-national, ambitious and self-centric.
Corruption in Anna Hazare’s Organizations
Hind Swaraj Trust (HST)
Mr. Anna Hazare is the President of Hind Swaraj Trust which was registered in April 1995. Even before getting registered, HST had submitted a proposal entitled “National Training Centre for Watershed Development at Ralegan Siddhi” in the month of February 1995 to the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, New-Delhi. The then Secretary, Rural Development, Mr. B. N. Yugandhar, sanctioned Rs. 112.28 Lakhs on 31-03-1995 and disbursed Rs. 45 Lakhs to HST on the same day.
HST was a newly formed organization without any experience or expertise in watershed development. It had no technical staff of its own at the time of sanction. Mr. Hazare was the Member of both the Executive Committee of CAPART (Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology, Ministry of Rural Development) and National Standing Committee (NSC) on Watershed Development.
He misused his office to get his proposal sanctioned.
Actually, there was already a Training Centre at Ralegan Siddhi sanctioned by CAPART to another NGO, Sant Yadavbaba Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, headed by Mr. Hazare. CAPART is an autonomous agency under the aegis of the Min. of Rural Development. There was no need to sanction grants to HST for the construction of one more training centre. But Mr. Yugandhar sanctioned this proposal of training centre to just please Mr. Hazare.
Under this project, HST had purchased a bus for field tours of trainees. But after a few years, it sold out the bus without the permission of the Ministry or Charity Commissioner. HST also received grants from the State Govt. under the “Adarsha Gaon Yojana” for construction purpose and for conducting training programmes in watershed development.
The visitors to Ralegan Siddhi were shown as “Trainees” in the Progress Reports submitted to the Ministry, thus giving a false figure of “trainee days”. These visitors came from different states on exposure visits sponsored by their State Governments.
Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)
The DRDA, Ahmednagar, had sanctioned a watershed project under DPAP to HST in 2002 for implementation in 4 villages of Parner block. The main object of the DPAP programme is to generate employment in the villages for the BPL families, landless labourers, backward communities and unemployed youth. But HST hired a labour contractor from Karnataka. The contractor brought labourers from Karnataka and worked in the project villages for 4 years (2004-2008). The wages were paid to the contractor instead of labourers.
Under DPAP programme, it is mandatory to collect 10% of the total project cost as contribution from the beneficiaries / villagers. Instead of collecting it from the beneficiaries, HST deducted it from the wages of labourers, which is inhuman. Who are going to be benefitted by the project? Villagers or daily-paid-labourers brought from outside? Both the contractor and HST exploited the labourers by taking their share from the wages of poor tribal labourers.
There is a ban on the use of heavy earth moving machinery (e.g. JCB, bulldozer) as per DPAP guidelines. But HST extensively used heavy machinery for farm ponds, earthen nulla bunds and gabion structures. Ultimately, the owners of the heavy machinery got benefitted instead of landless labourers and unemployed youth. Bogus records like Measurement Books, muster and payment sheets were created to show the work done by heavy machinery as work done by labourers. In this illegal practice, there was misappropriation of funds by the field staff and watershed Secretary.
It is mandatory to submit Monthly Progress Report (MPR) of the project work to DRDA. But HST never submitted MPRs in time. As heavy machinery was used, it was never possible to maintain the record (Measurement Book, muster, paysheets, etc.) on time. Payments were made to the contractor and bogus muster was prepared in the names of labourers. Besides this, other adjustments were also made to misappropriate money for the Trust. All this required time, so the MPRs were submitted after 7 to 10 months. The accounts were never got audited immediately after the end of financial year, i.e. 31st March. The cash book and ledger were never maintained up-to-date because all the transactions had to be ‘adjusted’ to accommodate misappropriations. All the accounts were written after the end of the financial year, and sometimes after 1½ to 2 years. It is evident from the dates of audit on the Statements of Accounts.
The Administrative Expenditure is more than the sanctioned amount due to slow pace of field work. This has resulted in extension of project duration. HST could not utilize the funds properly. The DRDA had given the deadline of 31st March 2011 to complete the project. So HST diverted the unutilized funds to some other account before 31st March and spending the money from that account which is illegal. On paper, it is showing as work completed before 31st March, but in reality the work was going on as on June ’11.
(Copy of the letter from Mr. Rajendra Pawar containing above complaints is available with The Joint Secretary, M&E, DoLR, MoRD, New Delhi, and Secretary, Gramavikas, Jalasandharan Vibhag, Mantralaya, Mumbai)
HST is not registered with the District Profession Tax Office, Pune. The profession tax has to be deducted from the salary of the staff and it has to be deposited in the Govt. Treasury through bank. But for the last 15 years, HST has not paid any profession tax to the Govt.
It is illegal to give powers of bank transactions to persons other than Trustees of the Trust / Society. Mr. Raut was neither a Trustee nor an employee of HST till 2009. But from the inception of the DPAP project on watershed development (i.e. 2002) to 2009, Mr. Raut was a signatory of the Bank Account (Old No. 3523) with the Bank of Maharashtra. He was made a Trustee in 2009. But till then, he was operating the project account of DPAP project illegally.
The premises / buildings of the Training Centre are rented to other Institutions / Colleges to organize their training programmes / seminars / camps and money is charged. This is evident from the receipt books of Training Centre.
Shri Sant Yadavbaba Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (SSYSPM)
Mr. Hazare is the Secretary of SSYSPM. This Society was registered in 1980. It runs a school and a hostel. The school gets grants from the State Govt., but the hostel is non-granted. Students are charged Rs. 22,000 – 25,000 per year. SSYSPM also implemented 10 projects funded by CAPART, New Delhi. During his tenure of Membership of CAPART’s General Body / Executive Council and/or National Standing Committee, Mr. Hazare got sanctioned most of these projects. Out of these 10 projects, only 2 projects were implemented satisfactorily. In implementation of remaining 8 projects, there is mismanagement, misappropriation and misutilization of funds.
The interesting part of these projects is in the way they got approval. Before sanctioning any project to any NGO, CAPART sends an empanelled monitor for pre-funding appraisal. The monitor’s responsibility is to see the technical and financial feasibility of the project, to check the credentials and capability of the NGO and to submit his/her report to CAPART. Based on his report, CAPART decides whether to sanction or not the concerned project proposal. But in case of projects sanctioned to SSYSPM, pre-funding appraisal was done for only 2 projects. The other projects got approval without pre-funding appraisal, under the pressure of Mr. Hazare.
After sanction of the projects, CAPART’s responsibility is to monitor and evaluate the projects during their implementation. For this purpose, it sends empanelled monitors for mid-term evaluation (for 1 to 4 times, depending upon the project duration and amount of grant) and post-project evaluation (after completion of project). In case of Ralegan Siddhi, the mid-term evaluation was done for only 4 projects. Out of these 4 projects, the monitors had raised many objections against malpractices and misappropriation in 2 projects. Accordingly, CAPART had sought clarifications from SSYSPM. But, Mr. Hazare threatened to resign from the Membership of CAPART and go on hunger strike against CAPART. He could blackmail CAPART because he was having some complaints against CAPART officials’ corruption.
[Mid-term evaluation report submitted by Mr. Mirji, CAPART Monitor, clearly shows the malpractices in the – (1) Mushroom Cultivation Project; and (2) Project on Training Institute for Ideal Village Level Workers. This is available with CAPART]
4 out of 10 projects were not implemented completely. The implementation of these projects was stopped mid-way and, after diverting some of the funds illegally to other non-project activities, some of the balance (unutilized) funds were returned to CAPART. The CAPART never sent any officer to check the accounts and assets created out of spent money. The incomplete implementation shows the incompetence and incapability of the NGO headed by Mr. Hazare.
Funds were illegally diverted from 4 projects to other non-project activities to create assets for the NGO / village. Bogus vouchers and bills were attached / produced against these amounts to show as project expenses. In one of the projects, about Rs. 3 Lakhs were demanded from CAPART on account of extra expenditure incurred on construction of buildings for training centre which was paid by CAPART, without verification. The buildings constructed under different projects are not utilized for the purpose for which the grants were sanctioned, but used for other purposes which is illegal. Three of the buildings house the office and store rooms of the “Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jana Andolan” (Anti-corruption Movement).
CAPART, after getting threats from Mr. Hazare, finally decided to close all project files without evaluating the projects.
Following is the list of projects implemented by SSYSPM during 1990 – 2000 with details of malpractices :
|Name of the project & year of sanction||Malpractices / Misappropriations|
|1||Water Conservation Project – 1990||Satisfactorily completed, but the figures of beneficiaries’ contribution are exaggerated.|
|2||Vermiculture Project – 1992||Completely failed. About Rs. 1.5 Lakh diverted to other non-project activities (Assets creation for the Organization)|
|3||Low-cost Housing Project – 1992||Additional grant of about Rs. 3 Lakhs was claimed by submitting bogus expenditure. 3 buildings are used for “Anti-corruption Movement” and remaining are lying closed for the last 12 years. For some time, 2 buildings were rented to another NGO illegally for running dispensary (for 6 to 7 years).|
|4||Comprehensive Watershed Mgmt. Project – 1993||Rs. 1 Lakh diverted to other non-project activities (Assets creation for the Organization). An Earthen Nulla Bund constructed by Agril. Dept. was repaired and shown as ‘Percolation Tank’ in the project. Bogus ‘shram-dan’ was shown and bogus muster was prepared.|
|5||Training Institute for Ideal Village Level Workers – 1994||Training centre run for just 1 to 1½ year. Movable assets are used elsewhere. Some of the funds refunded to CAPART. Incomplete implementation.|
|6||Ganeshwadi Drinking Water Scheme – 1994||Project completed but the real beneficiaries are not benefitted. Water is supplied to training centre and orchards. Mis-utilization and misappropriation of funds. Money was given to a woman cook for construction of her house.|
|7||Mushroom Cultivation Project – 1994||RCC buildings were constructed instead of sheds, which was not proposed. Project failed. Some of the funds returned to CAPART. The building is rented to 4 families. Income source for NGO.|
|8||Construction of Series of Bandharas – 1995||Water harvesting structures are not constructed as per original proposed designs. Sites changed. Funds diverted to non-project activities. Figures of shram-dan and beneficiary contribution are deceptive.|
|9||Media Centre – Phase I – 1996||Incomplete utilization of funds. The books, video cassettes and CDs made out of CAPART funds for free distribution were sold and money was made. This business flourished well and lakhs of rupees earned.|
|10||Media Centre – Phase II – 1999|
(Mid-term evaluation reports, queries and objections raised by CAPART and subsequent correspondence between CAPART and Mr. Hazare are available with CAPART, New Delhi)
The CAPART after getting threats from Mr. Hazare, finally decided to close all project files without evaluating the projects. This is the way how Mr. Hazare created assets for his Organizations out of Govt. money he got by exerting pressure or blackmailing.
The Minutes Book (Proceeding Book) of the SSYSPM, which was maintained since 1980, was completely changed and a forged Minutes Book was produced before Justice Sawant Commission in the year 2004. By this time, the earlier Chairman was dead, but his forged signatures were put by some other person.
(please click the below mentioned link to read the article published in Indian Express)
—-to be continued