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New Delhi

AAP funding under scanner, MHA orders enquiry

Days after the Delhi High Court directed the Centre, to respond to a plea accusing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of receiving foreign funds in violation of law, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said he has received similar complaints regarding the party’s funding.

As campaign for the December 4 Delhi Assembly election hotted up, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, “Complaints have come to me (about AAP). We are probing the matter….From where the funds are coming, from which country, what is the source etc. We are trying to find out all these.”

He was responding to a question from reporters in New Delhi on alleged foreign funding of AAP.

The Home Minister, however, said such a probe takes time and indicated that the outcome of the investigation may not come before the Delhi Assembly poll.

Arvind Kejriwal, leading AAP, said his party was ready for any probe but said similar investigations should be initiated against all the political parties and leaders be punished if corruption is found in any of them.

AAP has said it has collected about Rs 19 crore till November 8 as donations from 63,000 people including a host of NRIs.

It has claimed to have received donations ranging from Rs 10 to several lakhs, from rickshawpullers to traders and industrialists to fight the polls and bring a ‘graft-free’ administration.

Kejriwal said, “The Congress is scared of AAP. Let them probe us. Finish a probe in 48 hours. But let them also probe how Congress got funds worth Rs. 2000 crore. Let them also investigate the BJP’s funding.”

Shinde said the inquiry has been ordered only with regard to AAP as the complaints of alleged foreign funding were against it.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had questioned on Sunday the source of funding of AAP, whose main election plank is to check corruption.

AAP has been relentlessly attacking Dikshit and her Government on the issue of corruption.

“AAP welcomes Union Home Minister’s statement regarding probe into AAP funds. We welcome any authority to come and check our accounts because this is the new, transparent and honest politics that AAP is preaching and practising,” the party said in a statement.

The party, which has been attacked by Congress and BJP over the issue of foreign funding, claimed it can account for each rupee it has got as donation.

“We have record of every rupee we have got and we are confident that we have not broken any law anywhere. As far as the question of foreign funding is concerned, all the funds that AAP has got from foreign are from people who hold Indian passport. Receiving funds from Indians, who are holding Indian passports, even if they are abroad, is not illegal under any law of the country,” AAP said.

AAP said it has names of all donors unlike other political parties who don’t reveal sources of donations less than Rs 20,000.

Attacking other parties on their source of funding, it said that recent study by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) showed that 75 per cent of the funding of BJP, Congress, BSP and several other parties came from unknown sources.

As per ADRs analysis, the total income of the six national political parties -– Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPI(M) — between 2004-05 and 2011-12 was Rs 4,895.96 crores.
Of the total of Rs 4,895.96 crores, around 75 per cent of their income Rs 3,674.50 crores came from unknown sources.

Last month, the Delhi High Court had asked the Centre to look into the accounts of AAP and probe their source of funding. The court had directed the Government to submit a report to it by December 10.

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