What may set the stage for another round of confrontation between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi and the Centre, the Union home ministry has sought information about foreign funds received by the party.
AAP termed the step as a political witch-hunt but ministry officials said the information was sought as part of the its “routine exercise under which all political parties are asked to share details of their foreign funding from time to time”.
Ministry officials said the information from AAP has been sought under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that governs foreign funding to all outfits – non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as political parties.
A ministry official clarified no ‘show-cause notice’ has been issued to AAP. A show-cause notice is an indication of serious violation of foreign funding norms and in most cases leads to suspension and cancellation of foreign funding licence of the outfit.
“Information from AAP has been sought under ‘routine’ process that covers all parties and once the reply to the queries will be received, further course of action will be decided,” said a home ministry official.
The official added that a litigation with regard to foreign funding of political parties is also pending in the Delhi high court.
“We have nothing to hide. We are ready to face any probe and the party will fully cooperate with all concerned officials and agencies. It’s worth mentioning that the ministry of home affairs had given us a clean chit before the high court on this issue and now they are sending us fresh notices. It is a clear case of political witch-hunt,” said the AAP in a statement.