New Delhi: 6.25 pm: Arvind Kejriwal rejected the photographic evidence produced by Salman Khurshid on Sunday and said that he will present more evidence against the Union Minister on Monday. "JB Singh is saying he didn't visit the camps in 2009-10. All that Khurshid has managed to show for evidence is one photograph. Khurshid is misleading the country. Khurshid is still the Law Minister. He has to step down so that this probe becomes legitimate. Why is the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi silent about this issue," he said.
5.25 pm: Responding to Salman Khurshid's press conference, India Against Corruption member Sanjay Singh said that the Union minister did not answer any of the questions asked by Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday.
"All Salman Khurshid is saying is lie. Language used by him is very shocking," he said.
4.20 pm: Highlights of Salman Khurshid's press conference:
- Salman Khurshid denies charges that a trust run by his wife misappropriated funds meant for disabled people.
-Khurshid says Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust indeed held camps for disabled and presented photographs as evidence.
-He also says equipments were distributed to the disabled and presented a beneficiary at the press conference.
-Khurshid, however, could not explain how allegedly forged letter of a UP bureaucrat was sent to the Centre recommending grant of funds to his wife's trust.
- He called for a probe to find who sent forged letters of UP bureaucrats to Centre.
4.10 pm: Salman Khurshid has produced the differently-abled person, who earlier said that he did not get anything from the NGO owned by Khurshid and his wife.
4.05 pm: My government will decide what to do with me, says Salman Khurshid.
4.01 pm: Let there be inquiry by any authority, including CAG, into the issue, says Salman Khurshid.
3.40 pm: Salman Khurshid on Sunday announced that he will file a defamation suit against the Aaj Tak TV news channel which organised a sting operation and levelled charges against Khurshid and his wife. At a press conference he held with his wife Louise, Khurshid asserted that the camps for the disabled, organised by his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, were held at different places in Uttar Pradesh. He produced pictures and also presented some eminent people who were present at these camps. The camps were held and there is enough evidence to prove that, he told reporters.
3.25 pm: Salman Khurshid said that he has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh government to order probe into the allegations against his NGO. "There was a letter which stated that 10 people said that their signatures were forged. I am willing that allegations levelled are investigated, including by the CAG."
3.20 pm: Salman Khurshid said that the certified utilisation certificate was submitted for the amount taken from the Central government.
3.15 pm: Salman Khurshid on Sunday said that the former Uttar Pradesh Development Officer JB Singh, who had earlier denied that he gave the affidavit to the NGO, was personally present in the Mainpuri camp.
3.10 pm: Salman Khurshid on Sunday presented pictures and list of camps his NGO held for differently-abled at various places as proof.
1.58 pm: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday came to the defence of his Cabinet colleague Salman Khurshid and expressed hope that the Law Minister will emerge from "this wholly manufactured ordeal with honour and integrity intact."
1.40 pm: Following are the five questions Arvind Kejriwal asked to Salman Khurshid:
- Your organisation had given a letter to the government of India and UP government in 2009-10 recommending satisfactory and good work done by your organistaon and was a recommendation to sanction more funds. In this letter UP government’s special secretary Ram Raj Singh had signed. But in the reports published in the media, Ram Raj Singh had said that these were not his signatures. Ram Raj Singh also says that the letter was written on March 24, 2011 but he retired in January 2011. Do you agree that your organisation forged the letter to get next set of grants?
- Your organisation had produced an affidavit from a former CDO JB Singh, where in JB Singh states that your organisation is doing good work in UP. Whereas JB Singh says that affidavit is forged and he had not given any affidavit. Do you agree that affidavit is forged, if yes then why did you attach forged affidavit?
- Akhilesh Yadav government on June 12, 2012 wrote to government of India where in they raised question of forged signatures of scores of officers. According to you, are these papers true or not?
- Your organisation has claimed that your they had conducted camps on certain dates in districts, but UP government is saying that there were no camps conducted on the dates mentioned by you, neither was any material distributed by you.
- In your organisation’s list, there are details of many handicapped people who according to you have got materials from camps organised by your organisation but these handicapped people claim that they never got any materials. Would you resign from the post of Law Minister and from politics as well?
1.32 pm: Taking on the UP government on allegations of corruption against Salman Khurshid, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Akhilesh Yadav now says that they will carry out more investigations. Now, investigations will not be carried out but evidences will be wiped out.
1.25 pm: Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the Uttar Pradesh government had completed inquiry into the allegations against Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife. “UP government sent the details of the report to central government on June 2012. UP government also says there were no camps conducted on the dates mentioned by Khurshid’s NGO, neither was any material distributed by them.”
He further stated that the Akhilesh Yadav government on June 12 wrote to Centre where in they raised question of forged signatures of scores of officers. He asked Khurshid to respond on this. “Centre issued a show cause notice in July to Louise Khurshid. Were they were asked to respond till July 18? Its 4 months they have no responded,” he said.
1.09 pm: Salman Khurshid tells CNN-IBN that he is ready to resign if charges against him are proved.
12.50 pm: IAC activists protest outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence at 7 Race Course Road.
12.10 pm: BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad calls for a probe into charges against Salman Khurshid. "There is allegation of forgery against his family trust. It is unfortunate. The matter needs to be investigated properly. It's a very serious matter that money meant for handicapped people have been siphoned off," he says.
11.48 pm: Responding to MoS PMO V Narayanasamy's remarks, Kejriwal says that his charges are not mere allegations. "The investigation into the charges is complete and the Akhilesh Yadav government submitted the report on June 12," says Kejriwal, adding that he plans to protest for a few days and if Khurshid does not resign by then, the people will give him a reply during elections.
11.40 pm: Taking on Salman Khurshid for his remarks against IAC members, Arvind Kejriwal says, "Yes we are guttersnipes, we are third rate people, we are bad people. But who has made us third rate people? It is their government who has done this. This third rate people have become fearless."
11.25 am: IAC member Kumar Vishwas on Sunday said that they will ask five questions to Salman Khurshid from the stage.
11.05 am: IAC activists protesting outside Salman Khurshid's residence in Delhi detained.
11.05 am: An angry Arvind Kejriwal retorts to name-calling by Salman Khurshid, says the people, whom he called guttersnipes, are agitated with his comments and will teach them a listen in the coming elections.
10.55 am: MoS PMO V Narayanasamy says that Kejriwal doesn't know the meaning of democracy. "Kejriwal just wants cheap publicity. Everybody has got the right to do private business. He doesn't understand democracy," he says. "He calls on the public to pass on information and announces half-baked allegations," he adds.
10.30 am: IAC activists protest and shout slogans at Delhi airport as Khurshid arrives.
10.00 am: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid arrives in Delhi, demands that Arvind Kejriwal and TV Today Chairman and MD Aroon Purie resign.
I don't fear third-rate people, will fight them tooth and nail: Khurshid
Blackmailers, rabble-rousers, third rate people doing third rate things - these are the words that Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid used to describe activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal and members of India Against Corruption (IAC) who have levelled charges of corruption against him and his wife, Louise.
Khurshid, who was in London for the past two days, returned to India on Sunday. Wife Louise had said that Khurshid would respond to all the allegations upon his return. She added that she herself has demanded a probe into the charges.
Speaking to reporters in London, Khurshid said, "I am here to be honoured by the Oxford University. I am overwhelmed by the affection and honour I got in Oxford over the past two days, while in my own country, third-rate people are doing third-rate things." In the same breath, he added, "This is all being done because they want to launch their own party. And they believe they will take over the country... My God... they will not be able to take the country. We will fight tooth and nail. Whatever it takes, we will fight. We will not give in to these blackmailers and rabble rousers..."
A TV sting operation had revealed certain irregularities in the usage of funds at the NGO run by Louise for the differently-abled, the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust. IAC activists also accused the duo of not organising health camps in 10 of the 17 districts they had demanded funds from the Centre for.
Khurshid, however, has refuted all the charges. "I have frankly nothing to hide. We have all the facts.. I know personally many of the officials that are being quoted... They say that no camps were held. There are pictures as proof and tomorrow, I will show those pictures. I'd like to see what they have to say about that. Are these pictures doctored? Are they imaginary? So I'd like to see what they have to say about that," said Khurshid.
The Congress, meanwhile, has gone all out to support its beleaguered leader. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Saturday said that Khurshid was not required to resign over the allegations. "Salman has a reputation of upright and honourable political leader and charges on him will have shattering influence on anybody. Let him comeback and give the real picture. There is a rule of law and this is not the way the government works," the minister said.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government is set to look into charges that the signature of a senior state government official was forged on a letter seeking funds for Louise's NGO. According to a 'The Times of India' report, the letter with the forged signature was allegedly used to request the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to release the second tranche of funds, amounting to Rs 68 lakh, for the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust in March 2011.