New Delhi: India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that it was wrong to say that IAC hid evidence against Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. "We are very selective because we are very responsible," Kejriwal said.
He also said that he cannot expose a minister till he has strong evidence against him. "We are taking the issues where we have proof, it is wrong to say that we hid evidence," Kejriwal said.
When asked about the allegations against his associates Anjali Damania, Prashant Bhushan and Mayank Gandhi, Kejriwal requested the government to order a probe. "We will send all reports, allegations and questions to three judges on Monday. We request the judges to submit a report as quickly as possible. We also request the government to investigate allegations against us," Kejriwal said.
The IAC has said that it will start an internal probe into allegations against Anjali Damania, Prashant Bhushan and Mayank Gandhi. IAC said the allegations will be probed by three retired judges.
Reacting to this, Mos PMO V Narayanasamy said an accused party cannot order a probe on its own self. "One can't probe self. How can the Lokpal probe it's own members? An independent third party will have to probe this," he said.
Allegations against Damania, Bhushan:
Kejriwal's associates, particularly Anjali Damania has been charged with having profited from a land deal, a charge she has already levelled at BJP President Nitin Gadkari.
BJP hit back at Damania on Thursday, releasing a letter written by the activist to the Maharashtra irrigation department. In the June 2011 letter released by BJP, Damania says that the location of a proposed dam coming up in Kondhane-Karjat be shifted by about 500 to 700 metres so that 30 acres of her property would not get submerged.
In her letter, Damania says that there is no private land but Adivasi land beyond 700 metres and she mentions that the Adivasis can be adequately compensated. The BJP has alleged that Anjali Damania had her own land issues, which led her to target BJP President Nitin Gadkari.
Reacting to BJP's charges, Damania accused the BJP of arm twisting. "I have not done anything wrong. If this was a case of personal vengeance, I would not have fought, but sorted it out on a personal level," Damania said.
Union Minister Rajiv Shukla on Wednesday demanded an inquiry into the allotment of tea garden land in Himachal Pradesh to activist Prashant Bhushan alleging "gross violation of all rules and regulations". Making a strong pitch for a probe, Shukla said that not even Himachal people could buy tea garden land and in any eventuality land use cannot be changed.
Shukla said that when party MLA Sudhir Sharma had raised the issue in the Assembly, the state government had accepted that the land had been allotted to the Kumud Bhushan Education Society but no school is being run there. Alleging that the land has been given in gross violations of rules and regulations, he said that while commercial value of the land at Palampur in Kangra district was Rs 10 crore, it was given to the Society for a few lakh rupees.
Ex-IPS officer accuses Kejriwal of hiding facts against Pawar:
Sharad Pawar and his family have come under the scanner after former IPS officer YP Singh accused the NCP chief's family, including daughter MP, Supriya, of being at the centre of a massive land scam in Maharashtra. However, Pawar was quick to react, defending his support for the controversial hill station Lavasa and saying there was no violation.
Singh created another controversy, claiming that Arvind Kejriwal had chosen not to expose Pawar despite being provided documentary evidence. "IAC had all information pertaining to the irrigation scam in Maharashtra but Kejriwal did not reveal all the facts. He has been selective in his revelations," Singh told media persons.
He accused Kejriwal of taking his favour in the name of the anti-corruption movement and using the documents for "personal political advancement". "In the name of IAC/NGO, Kejriwal got legal documentation done by me for central ministers. But he used them for his political career," he said. Singh's claims came a day after Kejriwal targeted BJP president Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of getting around 100 acres of land in Maharashtra after the Congress-NCP government bent rules.
Singh's associate Abha Singh, a laywer, said that Kejriwal's argument that excess land taken from farmers should be returned to farmers countered Supreme Court guidelines. "According to the apex court, such land cannot be returned to the farmers as it has already been purchased from them. There has to be a public auction of such land," she said.
(With additional information from PTI)