Churchill Alemao named in TV-sting operation… Mayabhushan’s innovative work unnoticed in Goa?


Congrats Mayabhushan Nagvenkar, one of our young and intrepid colleagues
from Goa… who incidentally has had to face harassment from editors in
this state too for some of his earlier endeavours in Goa!

Unfortunately, in Goa, many viewers have probably this story on STAR TV,
since the channel is currently not being shown in parts of the state due
to some dispute over broadcast rights and payments. –FN
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Another sting exposes scam in use of
MPs’ funds

By Indo Asian News Service
http://in.news.yahoo.com/051219/43/61m32.html

New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) A week after a sting operation exposed 11 MPs
who took cash to raise questions in parliament, a TV channel Monday
aired footage showing parliamentarians discussing kickbacks to release
officials funds for developing their constituencies.

The Star News channel claimed its reporters were able to obtain
assurances from several MPs – including Chandra Pratap Singh of
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Churchill Alemao of the Congress and
Parasnath Yadav of Samajwadi Party – that they would provide money from
the MPs Local Area Development scheme to fake NGOs for a ‘commission’.

Responding to the expose, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, a
stickler for rules, said he was ‘ashamed’ at this latest revelation of
corruption among MPs. Last week, Chatterjee had said he was saddened by
the cash-for-questions scam, a sentiment also expressed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh.

Members of both houses of India’s parliament can provide up to Rs.20
million a year under the scheme to fund projects in their constituencies
like building of roads and schools and setting up of computer centres.

Alemao, who represents Mormugao constituency in Lok Sabha and is a
former chief minister of Goa, was shown in secretly filmed footage
saying he would release Rs.1.5 million – if he was paid a commission of
Rs.300,000 – for setting up a Konkani library in his home state by a
non-existent NGO called Ashraya Abhiyan.

But Alemao later became suspicious of the reporters involved in the
sting operation and refused to go ahead with the plan.

Chandra Pratap Singh, one of the 11 MPs exposed last week in the
‘cash-for-questions’ scam, was shown allegedly accepting Rs.25,000 from
Star News reporters for similarly releasing funds to a fake NGO.

He was told by the reporters that the payment was part of the ’20
percent commission’ demanded by him for releasing Rs.500,000 from the
development funds.

The reporters were also shown having discussions on similar lines with
Ramswaroop Koli of the BJP (who represents Bayana in Rajasthan in the
Lok Sabha), Isam Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Sakshi Maharaj of
the Samajwadi Party (both Rajya Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh), and
Faggan Singh Kulaste of the BJP (Mandla-Madhya Pradesh in the Lok
Sabha).

Parasnath Yadav of Samajwadi Party was shown getting angry after the
reporters apparently failed to make a payment of Rs.50,000 he had
demanded.

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said in an immediate
reaction to the sting operation that Yadav had been asked to resign from
the party. Amar Singh urged other parties whose MPs were named in
Monday’s expose to act against them.

There were also MPs like Tufani Saroj of Samajwadi Party (who represents
Saidpur seat of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha) who steadfastly refused
to accept the kickbacks offered by the reporters, and asked them to
visit his constituency to discuss what development projects they could
carry out.

Star News said it had conducted the sting operation over the past six
months.

The Rajya Sabha has suspended the lone member of the upper house
involved in the cash-for-questions scam uncovered by Internet portal
cobrapost.com and Aaj Tak news channel, while a Lok Sabha panel will
decide on the action to be taken against 10 members of the lower house
involved in the scandal.

More MPs caught taking bribes on camera

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 19, 2005 20:20 IST
http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/dec/19bribe.htm

Hardly had the furore over Operation Duryodhan by Cobrapost.com, in
which 11 MPs were caught on tape taking bribes for asking questions in
the Parliament, died down another sting operation by Star News channel
is likely to create another storm in Parliament on Tuesday.

Operation Chakravyuh organised by two journalists Jamshed Khan and
Mayabhushan Nagvenkar, both former tehelka.com journalists, has caught
several big politicans off guard while demanding commission for getting
work done or showing undue favour to an NGO, which had floated fake
projects for developmental works in their respective constitutencies.

Amongst those who had been shown were Shakshi Maharaj and Paras Nath
Yadav, Samajwadi Party MP from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

While Shakshi Maharaj wanted a commission of up to 45 per cent, Yadav
even wrote a letter to a district magistrate which he withdrew later
since he was not given the promised money. “You do not have the guts to
leave Rs 50,000. Bring the rest of the money to get the letter,” he is
quoted a saying on the tape.

The expose promises to expose a former minister in the National
Democratic Alliance and a Congress member as well.

“The team has been working on the sting for the last six months. One
former NDA minister, one former chief minister of Goa, and five Members
of Parliament have been caught on camera,” Milind Khandekar of Star News
told rediff.com.

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