Row over 'dubious' funding hits AAP, BJP smells 'hawala at midnight'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 03, 2015 01:59 IST

A breakaway volunteer group of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led party of receiving Rs 2 crore last year through four "dubious" companies, a charge strongly rejected by the rookie party that challenged the Centre to order a probe by any central investigation agency including CBI.

The group -- AAP Volunteer Action Manch (AVAM) -- claimed that the money was donated to the AAP on the midnight of April 15 last year.

Karan Singh and Gopal Goel of AVAM alleged that four donations worth Rs 50 lakh each were remitted to the account of the AAP from four different "dubious companies".

The AAP called it a conspiracy to tarnish its image ahead of the February 7 Delhi assembly elections.

"This is a conspiracy. We invite the government to order an investigation before the February 7 polls itself by any of its agencies -- be it CBI, ED, IB, police, army... and subsequently arrest us if we have done anything wrong," senior party leader Yogendra Yadav told a press conference.

Yadav said that the AAP had taken all its donations through cheques to ensure transparency and also insists on PAN card details for the transactions.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said, "We've taken all donations by cheque.. We have a BJP government (at the Centre). Let it investigate. Please punish me if anything wrong is found,"

"The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and some mysterious fronts created by it close to the Delhi assembly elections have unleashed a malicious and false propaganda on the funding of the AAP," said a statement from the party.

The BJP, meanwhile, hit out at the rookie party over the controversy.

"We have heard of freedom at midnight, we can call this hawala at midnight or ghotala at midnight," said Shazia Ilmi, who had recently joined the BJP after parting ways with the AAP.

AAP gets Rs 15 lakh from UK

AAP supporters from across the UK donated Rs 15 lakh to the party for the Delhi elections during a programme ‘Flame of Hope’ that began in Scotland and ended in London last week.

Flame Of Hope is a symbolic torch that will be travelling hundreds of miles in different cities of UK along with a message board. AAP sources told HT on Monday that there was growing enthusiasm for the party during the flame journey from December 21 to January 25.

(With inputs from Prasun Sonwalkar in London and agencies)

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