Accusing the government of a “witch hunt” for ordering a probe into its foreign funding,the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Monday it has broken no law and demanded a similar inquiry against other political parties.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said the inquiry was ordered against AAP after receiving several complaints.
He,however,said such a probe takes time and indicated that the outcome of the probe may not come before the Delhi polls.
“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 AAP
said in a statement.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party said that it stands for honesty and clean politics and feels that probing into sources of political funding was better for political system in India.
“We feel that alongwith AAP,there should be a probe into funds of all political parties of the country and if corruption is found in any of them,then their leaders should be sent to jail,” it said.
The party,which has collected around Rs 19 crore till date as donations from 63,000 people including a host of NRIs,has been under attack from Congress and BJP over foreign funding.
“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.
“By receiving funds from Indians,who are holding Indian passports,even if they are abroad,is not illegal under any law of the country,” the party said. Challenging whether any other political party can claim similar transparency,it said that AAP has names of all donors unlike other political parties who don’t reveal sources of donations less than Rs 20,000.
“Currently they are not required to reveal the name of the individuals or organisations who contribute less than Rs 20,000,” the statement said.
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 our political parties like BJP,Congress,BSP 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,” it said.
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.
The party,while quoting ADRs finding,alleged,”Congress and BJP had got funding from a foreign company – Vedanta – something which is not allowed under the Sections 3 and 4 of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act 1976.”
“Thus the question is whether the other political parties follow what they preach about transparency? Are they ready to share the source of their funding?” the party questioned.
AAP does not have any problem if the probe into funding of political parties begin with it.
“If the Home Minister does not order inquiry into funding of all political parties then it would be clear that Congress,BJP and all other political parties were securing funds for themselves through corruption,” the party said.
It alleged that political parties were indulging in such attacks because they were scared of awakening of the common man. “Such kind of attacks cannot deter us from our path,” the AAP said.