New Delhi: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday stepped up the attack on Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal over the source of funds for his party. Swamy said, "Kejriwal seems to be dubious, he has named 13 countries without naming the donors." He added, "One cannot collect Rs 19 crore in a week by roaming around with a jhadu."
Swamy also demanded that the government must investigate the source of AAP's fundings.
Trouble seems to be brewing for the AAP as the government has now ordered a probe into the party's funding. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the government has received complaints stating that the party is receiving foreign funding.
Arvind Kejriwal has called this a witchhunt, saying the party has declared on its website on September 21 that it has got funding from the US, Hong Kong and the UK. It said, "The money is from NRIs with Indian passports, not from foreigners."
He also alleged, "Even the Congress got Rs 1500 crore and the BJP got Rs 800 crore as funding. Who will probe their accounts? We don't have foreign funding, NRIs have funded us, which they can as per law."
About one-third of AAP's funding has come from NRIs. AAP says these cannot be called 'foreign funds' as the party does not accept donations from those who do not have Indian passports. NRIs donating to AAP must have Indian passports, says the party.
For any donation over Rs 10 lakh by an individual, the donation has to be approved by AAP's PAC. Kejriwal has said that the party is well within its rights under law to accept funds from NRIs.
Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has collected around Rs 19 crore as donations from cross section of people, most of them are the first-time donors to a political party.
"We have collected around Rs 19 crore from donations from around 63,000 individuals belonging to cross section of society," said Pankaj Gupta, Party's National Secretary and incharge of Funding and donations. The party claimed to have received donations ranging from Rs 10 to several lakhs, from rickshaw-pullers to traders to industrialists to NRIs to help it fight the Delhi Assembly polls and bring a "corruption-free" administration.
"Our aim was to collect Rs 20 crore for Delhi Assembly elections, and we would soon be achieving that target. Till the last week of September, we had collected around Rs 10 crore but within a span of a month, we have received Rs nine crores as donations," he added.