In an embarrassment to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Transparency International has said it has not conducted any survey, which states that corruption went down in the capital during the 49 days the party was in power.
The clarification came after a report in the Hindustan Times quoted AAP leader Shazia Ilmi citing a Transparency International survey to claim corruption had gone down under the AAP government. It was reiterated by Arvind Kejriwal in his address to the CII on Monday.
The embarrassment comes a month after Kejriwal waved a letter, purportedly written by a diplomat of the Ugandan High Commission, on January 19 during his two-day dharna outside Rail Bhawan.
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The letter purportedly claimed Ugandan women were being trafficked. The Ministry of External Affairs had, at the time, issued a statement that the Ugandan High Commission was empty in January, and that the letter was written in June 2013.
After Ilmi was quoted in the report about an “unpublished survey” conducted by Transparency International, the agency said, “We have not undertaken any study on corruption in Delhi and so there is no question of any such published or unpublished report.”
The AAP, too, issued a clarification on Tuesday, saying Ilmi had assumed the survey was conducted by Transparency International as she had “been given information by an employee” of the agency. “Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi learnt about a survey that showed a dramatic fall in the levels of corruption in Delhi after the AAP government came to power. Since the information came from someone who was an employee of Transparency International, she assumed that it was a Transparency International survey,” the party clarified.
“Based on this news report, Arvind Kejriwal also made some remarks. Since then, we have come to know that the survey had no connection with Transparency International and the source of Shazia Ilmi’s information had quit Transparency International by then. We regret this error. The AAP holds Transparency International in highest esteem and offers apologies for any embarrassment that this controversy may have caused to the organisation,” the party said.
Ilmi, however, denied ever speaking to the media on the survey. She wrote on a social networking site, “There is indeed a study done by an independent agency asserting that Delhi was cleaner and less corrupt in Aks (Arvind Kejriwall’s) 49 days… It will be out soon… Everyone in Delhi knows that corruption had come down. Ask the vendors and the hawkers and those who visited sales tax and govt depts.”