With the Congress and the BJP crying foul over alleged foreign funding of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said he has ordered a probe into the issue. However, the AAP has alleged vendetta politics and demanded similar investigation into funding of all political parties, particularly the Congress and the BJP.
“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.” Mr. Shinde told journalists here while responding to questions on alleged dubious funding from overseas for the party that is contesting the Delhi Assembly polls for the first time. He, however, said investigators were on the job and it would take some time. “The probe may not be over before the Delhi Assembly polls,” Mr. Shinde added.
Meanwhile, the AAP has welcomed any probe into its funding and claimed that unlike other parties, it had record of every rupee it got. Referring to a recent study by the Association for Democratic Reforms which showed that 75 per cent of the funding of political parties like the BJP, the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party came from unknown sources, the AAP has also demanded probe in their funding sources.
“If Mr. Shinde doesn’t order inquiry into the funding of all political parties, then it would be clear that the BJP, the Congress and all other political parties are securing funds through corruption,” said AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
The AAP also clarified that all the funds the party got from abroad were from people who held Indian passports. “Receiving funds from Indians who are holding Indian passports, even if they are abroad, is not illegal under the law,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The AAP recently said that it had so far collected about Rs.19 crore as donations from 63,000 people, including a host of NRIs.