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AAP urges CJI to order SIT probe into funding of political parties

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 3, 2015

Allegations of money laundering by AWAM should be probed: AAP
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal today wrote to the Chief Justice of India, requesting him to order a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the funding of his party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
Mr Kejriwal also wrote to the presidents of the BJP and the Congress urging them to agree to such an investigation into the funding of their parties.
The move by AAP came a day after it was pushed on the back foot by allegations made by a breakaway volunteer group which alleged that it had received Rs 2 crore as donation from four "dubious" companies in April last year.
Addressing a press conference here yesterday, just five days ahead of the February 7 elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, the group, AAP Volunteer Action Manch (AVAM), said the donations of Rs 50 lakh each was made by the four companies on the same day -- April 15 last year.
The donations were mentioned by AAP on its website and AVAM said that its investigations showed that the companies were not located at the addresses given by them. They also said three of the four companies had one common director.
AVAM office-bearers Karan Singh and Gopal Goel said the transactions could be a case of money-laundering or of diversion of funds originally raised by the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. According to them, the companies had no business or revenues to justify such large donations to a political party.
AAP has denied any wrongdoing and challenged the Government to order an investigation by any central agency. Mr Kejriwal said it was an attempt to tarnish his party's image ahead of the elections.
The elections are being seen largely as a direct contest between the BJP and AAP, with the Congress, which had ruled Delhi for 15 years before the December 2013 elections, not being given much of a chance by political pundits.
AAP said today that the BJP, the Central Government and "mysteriously set-up fronts by them" were running a "malicious, false and defamatory mud-slinging campaign" against it.
"The campaign has been launched to divert attention from the imminent defeat of the BJP, which is clear from multiple opinion polls telecast and published by news channels and leading newspapers.
"The BJP is also scared to debate the issues concerning the people of Delhi, since it is fully aware that in case it enters into a debate with the AAP, the eight month track record of its central government will be completely exposed," a statement from AAP said.
"It is ironic that parties that hide sources of approximately 80% of their own funds try to make a mockery of a genuine effort to disclose all political funding transparently," it said.
Addressing an election rally in east Delhi's Trilokpuri constituency, Mr Kejriwal dared the Central government to "arrest" him over the allegations of money-laundering.
"The government is in your hands. All the police and investigating agencies are with you. The CBI, Enforcement Directorate, IB and I-T department are with you. If you have the courage why don't you arrest me," he asked.
Mr Jaitley had earlier in the day described the donation of Rs 2 crore to AAP as a "clear case of round-tripping of black money".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi aso addressed an election rally in the capital and said the allegations against AAP had exposed its claim of being more honest than the other parties. "You have betrayed the people's trust," he said.
AVAM held a press conference again today at which it asked AAP to disclose the names of the companies which had donated Rs 2 crore to it within 48 hours and threatened to launch an agitation against it if it failed to do so.
NNN

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