Alleging that the list of donors AAP has submitted to Election Commission and tax authorities is different from the one it has put on its website, Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India challenged it for a debate on its sources of funding. The allegation and the challenge come a day after the AAP challenged the Congress and the BJP for a public debate at the Jantar Mantar on their sources of funding.
On December 23, Anna Hazare had castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not putting its list of donors on its website.
The AAP, which had taken the donors’ list off its website in June this year, has alleged its donors are “being targeted” by tax authorities. “Why did the party presents two different list of contributions, one to the tax authorities and Election Commission and another to the public on its website? Why do the two lists not match? What did the party wish to conceal?” Swaraj India’s spokesperson Anupam said.
He also alleged the AAP “collected crore of rupees in cash” in Punjab and questioned where has the money been deposited since it “does not have a bank account in Punjab”.
Here are the five questions:
1. Why has this party, ostensibly committed to financial transparency, taken off the list of its past and current donors from its website since June this year? Why has this not been restored despite repeated appeals and public outcry?
2. Why did the party present two different lists of contributions, one to the tax authorities and Election Commission and another to the public on its website? Why do the two lists not match? What did the party wish to conceal?
3. What has the party done about the four contributions of Rs. 50 lakh each received in April 2014, now that it is proven that those contributions came from shell companies with benami directors?
4. Where did the party deposit the hundreds of crores of rupees collected in cash from aspiring candidates in Punjab, since it maintains no bank account in Punjab?
5. What is the party’s financial relationship to Shri B. D. Aggrawal of Sriganganar, Rajasthan? Why did the party leadership have a clandestine meeting with Mr. Aggrawal immediately after demonetization?
Earlier, Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare today castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “not fulfilling the promise” of putting his party’s donors list in public domain, at a time when the AAP has been questioning the Congress and BJP over their source of funding.
In a letter to Kejriwal, dated December 23, the veteran activist, popularly known as Anna and also a ‘father-figure’ for the AAP, took a dig at the Delhi Chief Minister and said if change has to be brought into the system, then the leadership should “walk the talk”.
“For the betterment of country and the society, I kept aside several important works related to people in Maharashtra and gave you my time without any selfish interest and dreamt big for the country. But my dream has been shattered,” Hazare, who launched an anti-graft crusade, said.
He also referred to a letter written to him by Munish Raizada, a US-based medico and suspended AAP member, pointing out that donors’ records have gone off the party website since June 2016. Raizada also launched ‘no chanda’ (no donation) satyagraha at Raj Ghat today.
AAP’s national treasurer Raghav Chadha claimed that Hazare was being misled by Congress leaders on the issue while the BJP is using state agencies to threaten its donors.
On behalf of Kejriwal, he also challenged BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to come out clean on party donors and have a debate on the issue at Jantar Mantar.
“You made several promises, which includes putting the donations received by the AAP on the party website.
“The talks of social change, which we espoused, are fading and politics and money are becoming important. The sense of humility is also fading.
“Or else, you would not have taken off the names of people from your website who gave donations to the party during trying times,” Hazare said.
He also expressed displeasure over functioning of the AAP. Hazare said that while other parties get donations from people for their “selfish interests”, people give funds to AAP to bring in change.
“You penned a book on Gram Swaraj. The way you are going…is this the way to Gram Swaraj? This is the question before me. What is the difference between your party and other political outfits?” Hazare said.
“You promised change to me and the people. It pains because the promise has not been fulfilled. You have made several such promises to me and people,” Hazare said.
Chadha said AAP is the only party that has transparency in its source of funding and 92 per cent of its donations come through banking channels like net banking, credit and debit card and cheques.
“Congress leaders like Muish Raizada are misleading Anna while BJP uses state agenices to harass our donors. Raizada has joined the Congress,” Chadha claimed.
With inputs from agencies