Several reports of public money being plundered in the Rajya Sabha TV under Vice President Hamid Ansari’s tenure are now coming in the public domain. These entire extravaganzas were done under the directions of Ansari’s close aide and TV channel CEO Gurdeep Singh Sappal. The worst was the production of a big budget Bollywood movie – Raag Desh. This movie based on Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army (INA) budget was allotted Rs.10 crores and insiders say that another few crores of rupees were plundered for movie’s nationwide campaign.
Ansari was always a puppet in the hands of Sappal and the TV channel’s executive producer Amrita Rai, second wife of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, say Rajya Sabha TV staffers.
Why did Rajya Sabha TV channel go out of its mandate to produce a big budget movie is another question. Ansari was always a puppet in the hands of Sappal and the TV channel’s executive producer Amrita Rai, second wife of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, say Rajya Sabha TV staffers.
Amrita Rai also acted in the movie and both husband and wife were seen at the movie campaign shows. The movie production was approved by July 2016 and it was released in July 2017. In fact, in the movie production, Rajya Sabha TV’s key officers including Sappal and Amrita Rai were enjoying the perks of doing movie related work for the past one year on public money.
A few days ago, the new Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has ordered public broadcaster Prasar Bharati to take over the affairs of anarchy filled Rajya Sabha TV. Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar who took charge of the affairs of Rajya Sabha TV has started looking into the affairs of money plundering in Rajya Sabha’s TV channel, which was established primarily to beam live the proceedings of Rajya Sabha and other related activities. The insiders expect that the probe on financial bungling would be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) soon.
Sappal’s appointment in Rajya Sabha TV had already invited controversies. Sappal was a known close aide of Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Just before resigning, Sappal had managed to get an Identity Card as Distinguished Journalist to get free access in Parliament for life. This was totally illegal, say staffers, who had already complained to Venkaiah Naidu and asked for immediate termination of Sappal’s fake Distinguished Journalist Category ID card. Sappal has no experience as a Journalist and his making a false claim of 15 years service as a journalist would invite charges of perjury. Many in media did not cover these frauds and money plundering, as many Congress- Left – Liberal crony Editors and journalists like M K Venu, Siddharth Varadarajan were milking lakhs and lakhs of rupees from Rajya Sabha TV channel by presenting their heavily paid projects or participating in shows.
Is Mr. Venkaiah Naidu the Hercules, who will clean the Augean stables? Wait and see.
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