The Aam Aadmi Party has said that it will no longer publish the list of people who donate to the party anymore to ensure their privacy and safety of the party’s supporters, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai claimed there have been several complaints of donors, both from India and foreign countries, being harassed by members of Opposition parties, especially right before elections. Several donors have alleged that they have been told not to contribute to the Aam Aadmi Party, Rai said.
“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,” Rai said. Rai, a minister in the Delhi Cabinet, said that the details will be submitted to the Income Tax Department in a timely manner.
In 2016 too, the party temporarily removed the donor list, citing safety concerns. The list was uploaded again after they were criticised for not maintaining transparency during election campaigns.
The announcement came days after the Election Commission issued a showcause notice to the party asking it to explain alleged discrepancies in the donations it received in the 2014-’15 financial year. The commission said that hawala transactions had been “wrongly disclosed as voluntary donations”.
In January, the Central Board of Direct Taxes pointed out to the Election Commission the alleged discrepancies in the party’s actual and reported donations. In a notice to the AAP on November 27, 2017, the Income Tax Department said the party had not disclosed income worth Rs 13 crore and had also not recorded the details of 462 donors. These donors reportedly gave Rs 6.26 crore.
The Election Commission asked the party to explain within 20 days why no action should be taken against it.