Jalandhar central MLA and BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia in an open letter to senior party leader Shanta Kumar has accused him of misappropriating the election funds collected from Punjab for his election from Kangra during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Kalia alleged that Shanta collected money from Punjab for his election when he was the party affairs incharge for Punjab.
Shanta had recently embarrassed the NDA government by writing a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah on the alleged scams by party leaders.
Kalia, a former state minister, in the open letter, which he also posted on his Facebook page, said, "After you won the Lok Sabha election from Kangra in 2014, you projected yourself as most honest by claiming that you did not accept even a single penny for your election. Is it not correct that you collected huge amounts of funds from Punjab for your personal election? You must remember that when once I asked you about such funds being collected for you in my meeting with you in Delhi, you maintained suspicious silence on the issue."
Kalia alleged that during the initial days of the poll campaign, the election fund was given to Shanta from Hoshiarpur constituency thinking it was meant for the Punjab BJP. "You handed over this fund to a senior party leader, who gave it to BJP candidate Vijay Sampla sensing that the fund was collected for him. But within hours, you demanded the money back and took it with you for your own election. You reasoned that this fund was collected for your election from Kangra," Kalia alleged.
Kalia advised Shanta to judge himself by the same yardstick which he used while judging others.
"Whether you gave any statement of election fund to the party; whether this fund was collected through cheques; if taken in cash, whether this was black money or white money? You must clarify as you have spoken on the black money issue in the United Nations as well. Don't you feel you don't have the right to speak on the black money issue?" the letter states.
Kalia also accused Shanta of embezzlement of funds collected in the name of the Swami Vivekanand Trust at Palampur. "Is it not correct that you collected donations of crores for this centre and most of the donors were officials of the department which was under you as a Union minister," the letter says.
Shanta was incharge of the Punjab party affairs during the SAD-BJP government's previous tenure when Kalia was removed as the industries and local bodies minister.
Replying to the allegations, Shanta Kumar said, "I don't have anything to say on Kalia's letter. People and my party know me well and they also know Kalia. In democracy, people are the best judge and you are known by your deeds and stand."