21 December, 2005

india’s sting season

Via Amit Varma’s India Uncut, six more Indian parliamentarians have been exposed as corrupt through a journalistic sting operation.:

Sting2NEW DELHI: Last week 11 MPs had to wrestle with Duryodhan. Now six others have been trapped in a Chakravyuh.

A sting operation, codenamed Chakrayvuh, conducted over six months by two former Tehelka journalists, Jamshed Khan and Mayabhushan Nagvekar, and telecast on STAR News on Monday showed six MPs striking deals to get projects implemented in their constituencies using funds from the MPs’ Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

The exposé comes exactly a week after Operation Duryodhan, conducted by another former Tehelka journalist, Aniruddha Bahal, and telecast on Aaj Tak, showed 11 MPs accepting bribes to raise questions in Parliament. In fact, Chakra-vyuh had to be wound up after Duryodhan because MPs had become wary of requests from unknown parties.

Under the MPLADS, Rs2 crore is sanctioned every year to all members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for carrying out developmental works of their choice in their constituencies. With nearly 780 MPs in Parliament, the annual budget for the scheme works out to Rs1560 crore.

Indian journalists seem far more willing to resort to entrapment than their Western peers. That’s not likely because of different ethical standards, it’s probably because none of us can afford to bribe a Western politician. We simply don’t have the budget to compete with the lobbyists.

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by @ 8:15 pm. Filed under India, Asia, South Asia

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