Diamond Harbour’s Abhijit Das Bobby had contested Lok Sabha elections (2009 and 2014) as Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s candidate from Diamond Harbour. He was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Pracharak prior to joining active politics. Going through the affidavit and expenditure statement submitted by him, we discovered a number of irregularities. And surprisingly the Election Commission of India even approved of it. This could be true for other parties too, but my research, in this case is concentrated on this person in particular.
Santosh Kumar, the former Convener of the BJP Trade Cell, South 24 Paraganas had provided me the lead in the matter. However, we carried out our independent investigation. The documents studied by us can be viewed from here (LINK).
As per the affidavit filed by Mr. Bobby, he happens to have zero (0) income with PAN number BBKPD1934N while his wife neither has a PAN card nor earns. However, it is mentioned that she works as a computer teacher. Comparing with his 2009 affidavit, it is evident that the area of his residence had been reduced from 4,0000 sq-ft to 3,000 sq-ft (75%) while the estimated value of this property has increased by 200% (10 Lacs to 30 Lacs)
The anomaly of Mr. Bobby doesn’t end here. His expenditure during the 2014 LS elections is full of loopholes. He received money from a number of people and that too repeatedly.
The details of the amount he received are as follows:
|28.03.2014||(First name not readable, male) S.GuhaNeogi|
The number of contributors grouped by their last names:
|Bhattacharya||5 (including names with initials)||7|
The possibility of the above-mentioned contributors with the same last name being relatives cannot be ruled out. Almost all the contributors contributed repeatedly. However, the amount never exceeded 20,000: the per day cash limit fixed by the Election Commission of India for donations. Most of the contributors contributed 15,000 at a time. The investigation took another curious twist we scrutinized the details associated with the name Binoy Chakraborty. Strangely, Mr. Chakraborty received 2 Lacs through a set of 10 cheques of 20,000 each while other names in the list didn’t appear anywhere else in the expenditure statement.
Apparently, Binoy Chakraborty had been receiving these amounts at regular intervals. As per records, Mr. Bobby paid these amounts for unknown reasons; however, even if it is considered that Chakraborty was paid for the expenses, the regular payment of exactly 20,000, amounting to exactly 2 Lacs suggest something fishy.
Binoy Chakraborty received the said amount via following cheques:
While studying the statement we failed to find details of 5,000 rupees spent on 16.05.2014. The detailing column remained blank while an amount of 5,000 had been mentioned on page no. 1108. Similar is the case of Cheque no. 917430, which he used to pay 50,000 rupees of BANGIYA GRAMIN VIKAS BANK.
Apparently, Abhijit Das either paid this amount to the bank itself or to an anonymous account.
Apart from donations, 5,000 rupees were also credited as a loan from a person whose name isn’t readable just like most of the names mentioned in the statement. Eventually, Das didn’t pay a single penny to the people he credited from. However, the loan of 5,000 rupees helped us understand how expenditure can be compensated to keep the calculated amount same.
The expenditure statement submitted by Bobby was full of visible marks of manipulation. The strikeout dates and figures with visible marks of digits written by a pencil evidently supports the fact that the statement was manipulated to bring out the desired result. Interestingly, the Election Commission of India failed to find any irregularity within the document, neither in his nomination form. Even if Bobby’s wife, Mrs. Mousumi Das held a bank account at the Union Bank of India, Amtala branch (A/C No. 0136010353199) the Election Commission didn’t bother to question how she had managed to open a bank account without a PAN number. If she had been a computer teacher, then how did she have zero income? And even if both the husband and the wife had zero income, then how did they manage to run their family?
It was indeed a curious case but leaves a big question mark on the credibility of the Election Commission of India.
Note: The investigation was carried out by the writer independently, eNewsroom was not part of his investigation or his team. The views expressed are exclusively of the author. We believe that the practice is done by other political parties and candidates too, and to highlight the issue, we have published the story.