Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday send a questionnaire to former RTI activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal`s Aam Admi Party (AAP) in connection with alleged irregularities in the funding received by his party from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
According to reports, the questionnaire has been sent to AAP on the basis of a private individual`s complaint. The probe against Kejriwal`s part is being carried out by the Home Ministry`s Foreigners` Division, which monitors the funding of NGOs and issues instructions.
The development comes a day after Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said a probe into the source of funds received by Kejriwal`s party will be launched soon. He, however, said that a detailed probe is likely to take more time, and its outcome might not be known before the Delhi Assembly polls of December 4, at which the AAP debuts.
Welcoming the Home Minister`s announcement, Arvind Kejriwal heightened attack on the Congress government and demanded a fair probe into the funding of other political parties as well.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Shinde said, "The Centre will soon investigate the complaints of alleged irregularities in funding received by Kejriwal`s party."
"We have received complaints and are probing the matter. We are trying to ascertain from where the funds are coming and from which countries, what is the source etc. We are trying to find out all these," Shinde said.
Kejriwal, later, said that he and his parry colleagues have nothing to hide and are open to any investigation but he also demanded that the funding of other parties be investigated as well.
In a statement, the party said, "When AAP was formed, we announced clearly that we are coming not to do politics but to change dirty politics. We feel there cannot be anything better for the political system in India than investigation into sources of political funding. Because of this, AAP welcomes union home minister`s statement... We feel that... there should be a probe into funds of all political parties... and if corruption is found in any of them then their leaders should be sent to jail."
AAP leaders said they had records of "every rupee that has been received".
"All the funds that AAP has got from abroad are from people who hold Indian passports. Receiving funds from Indians, even if they are abroad, is not illegal. AAP is unlike other parties and has the names of all donors," a party leader said.
As per data posted on the AAP web site, the party had received donations of Rs 19.12 crore until Monday midnight. The bulk — over Rs 13.44 crore — had come from donors in India, followed by those in the US (Rs 1.98 crore), Hong Kong (Rs 1.14 crore), the UAE (Rs 59.46 lakh), Singapore (Rs 56.73 lakh) and the UK (Rs 36.34 lakh).
The party had also put up a list of 803 donors from India and abroad mentioning their contributions. A "live" list of donors was unavailable due to "very heavy traffic" on the site.