The Union home ministry has decided to inspect the books of accounts of the Aam Aadmi Party in connection with complaints that the party had received foreign funding in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
Except for some additional details required by the home ministry, government sources said the inspection of books of accounts was usually the last step in the Centre’s probe into AAP’s funding and would be a precursor to the elusive clean chit to the party.
“We need further interaction with AAP as we need some clarification on their replies. We will inspect their books of accounts,” a senior government official said, insisting the case was being handled strictly on merits and there was no political interference. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he wasn’t aware of the status of the home ministry probe.
The probe started on a directive of Delhi High Court on a public interest litigation that accused AAP of violating the foreign funding law.
FCRA - that regulates receipt of foreign money by NGOs - bars political parties from receiving funds from any foreign source.
Congress and BJP leaders had tried to use the high court-ordered probe to show the young political party in poor light in the run-up to the Delhi assembly elections.
Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit too had used the home ministry probe to question the source of funding of AAP, whose main election plank was to check corruption.On Thursday, the party - which is set to form a minority government this weekend, said it was ready for any kind of probe and insisted that it had taken donations only from Indians, residing in the country or abroad.“If we are found guilty of any wrongdoing, we will accept double the punishment,” said AAP leader Yogendra Yadav.