Kejriwal springs a surprise, to shift agitation to Farrukhabad

IAC leaders say the protests in Khurshid’s constituency will be the starting point of their election campaign in Uttar Pradesh

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:58 am IST

Published - October 15, 2012 01:20 pm IST - New Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal introducing Pankaj (right) from Mainpuri (UP) a physically challenged boy with twisted limbs whose name figures in the list of beneficary to have got an hearing aid from the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by Union Law Ministr Salman Khurshid's wife, Louise. Photo: V. Sudershan

Arvind Kejriwal introducing Pankaj (right) from Mainpuri (UP) a physically challenged boy with twisted limbs whose name figures in the list of beneficary to have got an hearing aid from the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by Union Law Ministr Salman Khurshid's wife, Louise. Photo: V. Sudershan

In a sudden shift in strategy, the Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption and the Rashtriya Viklang Party on Monday suspended their agitation against Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise in Delhi and declared that Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh would be the new epicentre of their movement against the Minister, who represents it in the Lok Sabha.

IAC leaders said the Farrukhabad protests would be the starting point of their election campaign in the State. “Accepting the appeal from the Rashtriya Viklang Party, IAC has decided to take the struggle against the Union Law Minister to the grass roots… It has been decided that further demonstrations will be held at Farrukhabad beginning November 1,” IAC said in a statement.

Addressing the protesters on Parliament Street here, Mr. Kejriwal reiterated the allegations of financial irregularities in the Dr. Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by Mr. Khurshid and his wife. Mr. Kejriwal dismissed the ongoing probe by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Uttar Pradesh Police, saying Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav could not be trusted to be impartial, given that his father, Mulayam Singh, was under investigation in a disproportionate assets case. “It is a quid pro quo, where the Law Minister will favourably manipulate the case against the U.P. leader, and the State government will clear Mr. Khurshid in the Trust case.”

Mr. Kejriwal said, “The Disabled Welfare Department comes under Mr. [Akhilesh] Yadav, and the disproportionate assets case is pending against [Mr.] Mulayam Singh in the Supreme Court. Who will appoint the government lawyer against him? The Law Minister.”

IAC leaders also took on the Congress for defending the Trust. “Is it Mr. Khurshid’s Trust or that of the Congress?” Mr. Kejriwal asked.

He contended that the State government had investigated the functioning of the Trust and brought the discrepancies to the attention of the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. Against this background, the EOW probe raised suspicions.

Mr. Kejriwal also presented a physically challenged person, saying that his name had falsely been mentioned as a beneficiary of the distribution camps organised by the Trust.

Pankaj Kumar, a resident of Mainpuri said to be on the list of beneficiaries of hearing aid distribution, said he did not have any hearing disability. “I have problems in my legs, but I have not got anything for that too,” he claimed.

An activist from Mainpuri claimed that his team conducted enquiries but could not locate the two persons shown as residents of Dewar and recipients of wheelchairs distributed by the Trust.

He alleged that the name of another person was wrongly mentioned on the list of beneficiaries.

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