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Update: @Kapsology on Twitter raised some doubt about a missing line that I did not understand. Given the volatile nature of opinion around this issue, here is the original email trail @MPunjab1 speaks about in the article for anyone interested to download and independently verify. Original email trail regarding accusations against Shalini Gupta

With reference to the following hit piece by Ajaz Ashraf: Read the controversial emails by Prashant Bhushan's sister that pushed AAP to breaking point

Let me expose the lies in this hit piece one by one which will prove one of the following is true by the time you're done reading my analysis:

  1. Ajaz Ashraf has access to the original emails yet chose to deliberately twist & lie in order to malign Shalini Gupta.
  2. Ajaz Ashraf does not have access to the original emails and was simply passed selective sections (cut-paste) and "used" to plant a hit piece.

Para #2 - Lie #1

This strain had been caused by two emails sent by senior leader Prashant Bhushan’s US-based sister, Shalini Gupta, to members of the AAP GlobalGroup, which consists of 700-800 NRI contacts of the party.

FACT: No such email or message was sent to AAP Global which is the Google Group for NRI volunteers from all around the world.

Instead, there was a private exchange between at the most 10 members of the Chicago chapter related to AAPs "Adopt a Constituency" program. The entire article takes that exchange out of context with the sole purpose to malign Shalini Gupta.

Para #2 - Lie #2

In the messages, Gupta tacitly discouraged members from donating money to the AAP’s war-chest on the grounds that Kejriwal had fielded corrupt candidates in the Delhi assembly elections.

FACT: Either the "journo" does not know the meaning of the word tacit or is trying to create drama & innuendo where none exist. Shalini Gupta states as a matter of fact that there is controversy around some candidates due to volunteer objection and the matter has been referred to the Lokpal.

In light of the allegations on several candidates, she advises the group that:"We need to support candidates who we are confident will work in public interest if elected."

I suppose such statements can be construed as "discouraging members from donating money" if you have a vivid imagination!

Para #3 - Observation

Her emails sent shockwaves through the party higher echelons, ...

OBSERVATION: Why did the party "higher echelons" NOT take IMMEDIATE and STERN action against Shalini Gupta after experiencing SHOCKWAVES? Why did they wait till *after* the make-or-break elections to "expose" Shalini Gupta and that too through a "leaked" piece in the media?

Why did the "higher echelons" risk losing the NRI supporters who constitute 30% of AAPs funding and play the role of a major moral, intellectual and financial support base? If the statement in the article is to be believed it smacks of gross incompetence on part of the "higher echelons."

Para #4 - Lie #3

Her emails demonstrate that she was not willing to wait for the verdict of the AAP Lokpal, Admiral (retd) L Ramdas, on the suitability of 12 nominations that were being challenged.

FACT: Nowhere do Shalini's emails (there are 3 in the entire exchange) demonstrate that she was not willing to wait for the verdict of the Lokpal. Infact, Shalini is giving a mature "heads-up" by stating that:

  1. There are serious complaints against some candidates
  2. Party Lokpal will be examining the charges
  3. Tickets of some of these candidates may have to be cancelled.

Also see the FACTs for Para #5 - Lie #4 below.

Para #5 - Lie #4

Yet emails sent by Gupta on January 5 and January 6 show she had already made up her mind that Kejriwal was guilty of violating party norms by choosing dubious candidates.

FACT: Nowhere does Shalini pre-suppose guilt. In her Jan 5 email she asks one volunteer to obtain the feedback on a candidate under consideration by contacting the ground team in Delhi and volunteers who have worked with the candidate in the past.

In her Jan 6 email, Shalini Gupta categorically states the following:
"That is the mandate to the Lokpal now to determine if these candidates pass the moral standards test expected of an AAP candidate."

Once more, it takes the vivid imagination of a "journo" to conclude that this"demonstrates she was not willing to wait for the verdict of the AAP Lokpal"or "she had already made up her mind"

I'll stop here because I don't think such a poorly executed hit piece deserves further effort on my part to debunk it. Trust me, the rest of the article can be dismantled line by line if one has access to the original email chain. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader once Ajaz Ashraf demonstrates the ethics of his profession by revealing the full email chain that he claims to have access to! 😉

The onus is now on Ajaz Ashraf and Scroll.in to come clean by disclosing the entire email chain AND revealing the source which planted this hit piece through him / them.

Guest post by @MPunjab1 on Twitter