After former Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra mounted an attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Sunday, accusing him of concealing Aam Aadmi Party's alleged 'hawala funding' and misleading the Election Commission and Income Tax department, the Congress and the BJP was quick to target the beleaguered chief minister. While the Delhi unit of the BJP sought Kejriwal's resignation, state Congress chief Ajay Maken called the allegations "serious" and urged the government to probe the names that were taken by Mishra during his press conference.
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) May 14, 2017
AAP's counter charge
Countering Mishra's charges, AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Rajeev Chadha pinned the blame on the BJP, slamming the party for "defaming" Kejriwal. Both leaders claimed that the BJP was behind Mishra's hunger strike against the party.
Singh also took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taunting him for not being able to unearth irregularities worth Rs two crores in the last three years, that Mishra was now alleging. Singh added that the BJP must search its own house first, referring to BJP MP Kirti Azaad's allegations against Arun Jaitley in the Rs 400 crore DDCA scam.
When the press questioned Chadha over his foreign tours, he said, "When party was not formed, I used to go for foreign trips. There is nothing new in that. I travel with my own money."
To make a point that the party is transparent, Singh added that even the former chief election commissioner SY Quereshi had claimed that the AAP is the only party which takes funds with all the transparency.
BJP is totally involved in this. Kapil Mishra is only saying what BJP is saying for past 2 years: Sanjay Singh, AAP pic.twitter.com/AQ6TWDaxEu
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 14, 2017
The party also targeted Neil Haslam, the man Mishra frequently referred to as someone who conducted the investigations into the alleged scam. Singh alleged that he is an agent of the BJP who has previously worked with Union minister Jaitley.
Neel is an agent of BJP. he also worked with BJP: Sanjay Singh, AAP
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 14, 2017
Dramatic end to press conference
The press conference ended on a very dramatic note, with a fuming Mishra seeking Kejriwal's resignation as Delhi chief minister, vowing to "drag him to Tihar jail by his collar." Mishra, who is on an indefinite hunger strike since the past five days, passed out at the end of the presser, and was rushed to the hospital. His mother, Annapurna Mishra, who is a BJP leader was also seen accompanying Mishra to the hospital.
The condition of rebel AAP leader, admitted to the RML hospital, is stable, doctors said. The former water resources and tourism minister in the Delhi government is suffering from "a little weakness and mild dehydration", an RML doctor said. "But he is conscious and his vitals are all normal," the doctor said.
Delhi: Kapil Mishra falls unconscious immediately after his press conference on revelations on AAP 's finances, on 5th day of hunger strike pic.twitter.com/xzDpMjdgQV
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 14, 2017
At the start of the presser, Mishra played a video showing Kejriwal appealing for donations from his supporters to help him run the party without the aid of bigwigs. However, soon after that he levelled serious charges of inconsistencies and corruption in the donations made to the party, quoting from a slew of documents, which the former Delhi minister claimed were proofs of blatant corruption in AAP.
He alleged that there are 461 bogus entries in the ledgers of the party, and millions of rupees have been transferred in the party's account from shell companies under fake identities.
Mishra named several companies, alleging that they were mere shell companies that were linked to several AAP MLAs or their kin. He also claimed that Kejriwal was in the know of all these fraudulent transactions.
Alleging blatant irregularities in the donations made to AAP, Mishra said that the party has shown it's total income as Rs 27,48,71, 611 on its website, while it told the poll panel that it had received donations worth Rs 32,46,16,662. However, he claimed that the bank account statements of the party show that the party actually received Rs 65,52,40,752 from various sources. He said that party donation was used as a source to convert black money into white.
He also alleged that blank cheques worth crores of rupees were accepted from undisclosed sources. Mishra also said that a substantial amount of these suspicious cheques and cash transactions were carried out at Axis Bank, which was raided during the demonetisation drive for allegedly converting unaccounted wealth into white money.
|Kapil Mishra's allegations against AAP|
|AAP donations||(2013 - 2014 | Donations above Rs 20,000)||2014 - 2015 | Donations above Rs 20,000|
|Declared in banks||45,74,06,911||65,52,40,752|
|Filed with EC||9,42,25,475||32,46,16,662|
|Listed on donation website||19,82,32,820||27,48,71,611|
|Revised reply to EC after I-T notices||30,08,75,280||-|
Mishra said that he will email proofs of all the allegations laid by him to the media and approach the CBI on Monday to register an FIR against the Delhi chief minister and the MLAs who he found were operating shell companies to bungle funds in the name of donations.
On 9 May, Mishra filed CBI complaints against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over allegations of corruption and also against his relatives and some AAP leaders, hours after he posted an open letter to the Chief Minister.
He handed over three sealed envelops to the CBI that he called "evidences".
"I have registered three complaints. First on the exchange of cash between Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain. Second on the firm owned by Kejriwal's relatives involved in PWD and a Chhatarpur farmhouse land deal... The third is on the foreign trips by five AAP leaders," Mishra told reporters after filing the complaints.
Mishra had sought details about the foreign trips of AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashish Khetan, Raghav Chadha, Satyendra Jain and Durgesh Pathak.
"In the last two years, which countries did they visit, where did they stay, who bore the expenses, whom did they meet and what are those deals that they entered into?" Mishra asked.
Corruption allegations do more damage when charged against AAP and its national convener Kejriwal as both are a byproduct of the India Against Corruption movement and shot to fame for the promise of practicing politics with a difference.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: May 14, 2017 04:20 pm | Updated Date: May 14, 2017 04:21 pm