HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

AAP targets Singapore Indians, plans to raise funds at high commission

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 21, 2014
First Published: 23:01 IST(21/1/2014) | Last Updated: 23:15 IST(21/1/2014)

The storm over the AAP’s foreign funding is yet to die down, but the party appears to have got itself embroiled in yet another controversy over funding. This time, it apparently sought donations from the Indian community in Singapore, inviting them to participate in the Republic Day celebrations at the Indian high commission.

The AAP’s Singapore wing was, in fact, planning to collect funds at the high commission premises on R-Day, said lawyer and a social activist Shehzad Poonawalla. “I have written to the election commission, the external affairs ministry and the home ministry,” he said. And to back his allegations, he has cited posters and Twitter messages from AAP’s Singapore wing.

The AAP had been in the eye of a storm a few weeks ago, with the Union home ministry deciding to inspect its accounts. It was suspected that the party had been violating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act while receiving funds from abroad.

While the party leaders “welcomed” the ministry’s move, this time, the AAP’s Singapore division scrambled for cover. “There is no fund-collection happening in Singapore. Those interested in donating are always directed to AAP website,” it said on its Facebook page. The party central leaders were not available for comment.

The Indian high commission in Singapore has already distanced itself from the purported donation drive. In a press release issued on Monday, it said, “Apart from the events at the Republic Day function, no other activity will be permitted or allowed on the High Commission premises”.

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