Politics

Ousted AAP Minister Kapil Mishra Now Accuses Kejriwal of Being Involved in Funding Scam

Kapil Mishra has charged Kejriwal and other AAP ministers with receiving funds through hawala companies and money laundering activities and plans to lodge a complaint with the CBI for the same on May 15.

Arvind Kejriwal and Kapil Mishra. Credit: PTI/Twitter

Arvind Kejriwal and Kapil Mishra. Credit: PTI/Twitter

Ousted Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi minister Kapil Mishra on Sunday renewed his tirade against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, this time accusing him of money laundering, having links with hawala companies and money laundering. Making a presentation at his residence, Mishra charged that he had received funds from shell companies, repeatedly made false declarations to the Election Commission and lied to the people and party leaders about donations received.

Mishra, who has been sitting on a hunger strike for the past five days, seeking the foreign travel details of five senior party leaders – also alleged that hawala money was used to fund this foreign travel.  Having already complained to the CBI on May 9 about corruption practiced by Kejriwal, his relatives and some AAP leaders, Mishra said he will be visiting the agency again on May 15 to get another FIR registered against Kejriwal and the legislators whose names have figured in the funding scandal.

Giving a dramatic twist to his allegations, Mishra also demanded that Kejriwal resign by this evening and threatened to drag him to Tihar by his collar if he failed to quit himself. However, Mishra himself fainted minutes later, before he could take any questions from the media. He was later admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

Prior to the presentation, Mishra had tweeted that he would be basing his allegations on documents that provided proof.

Mishra started the presentation by playing a video which gave a detailed account of how, over three successive financial years – 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 – the party received funds from hawala operators and made incorrect submissions to the EC.

Providing details of donations over Rs 20,000 that were made to AAP, Mishra said the party actually received funds worth Rs 32.46 crore in 2014-15, not just the Rs 27.48 crore listed on AAP’s website. On the other hand, he said, bank account statements reveal that the party received Rs 65.52 crore from various sources. Similarly, in 2013-14, he said the party had declared Rs 45.74 crore in banks, but filed disclosures of only Rs 9.42 crore on its website and listed Rs 19.82 crore worth of donations on its website.

He said while Kejriwal kept saying that the party was raising funds from small donors, the fact was that large donations were being received surreptitiously from hawala operators and shell companies. He said most of these transactions were kept secret from party workers.

Mishra said there are 461 bogus entries in the ledgers of the party through which crores of rupees are transferred into its accounts. He also noted that the party received undated cheques of huge amounts – going up to Rs 35 crore – from various people, including non-existent persons, as part of its operations. He said many of these cheques were Axis Bank’s – whose branches, in Delhi and elsewhere, were raided during the demonetisation drive as bank staff were accused of converting unaccounted wealth into legal tender.

During the presentation, Mishra said several shell companies linked to several AAP MLAs or their kin were involved in these transactions and that Kejriwal knew all about them. He alleged that Kejriwal had accepted Rs 2 crore in donations from shell companies, which was detected by the income tax department. Mishra said Kejriwal had formed several of these companies himself and AAP MLA Shiv Charan Goyal and AAP MLA Naresh Yadav’s wife were two of the persons linked to them.

Towards the end of the press conference, a charged Mishra resorted to theatrics and raised the slogan, “Ab toh yeh spasht hai, Arvind Kejriwal bhrasht hai” (Now it is clear that Arvind Kejriwal is corrupt).

In its response, the AAP accused Mishra of working for the BJP. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh, while addressing a hurriedly called press conference, said: “BJP is raising the same questions from last two years which were raised by Kapil Mishra today…I will request them to stop raising questions against AAP and Arvind Kejriwal… Stop tampering Arvind Kejriwal images… We have followed all the rules while taking donations…BJP is totally involved in this. BJP and Kapil Mishra are hand-in-glove.”

Meanwhile, Raghav Chadha – who along with Satyendra Jain, Ashish Khetan, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak – has been accused by Mishra of travelling abroad on ill-gotten wealth, reacted to the allegations by saying: “I think Kapil Mishra is mentally unstable… Media should ask questions to Mishra as well when he addresses the media… Even before joining the party I used to travel abroad.”

The Delhi BJP demanded Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation through a tweet.

Its spokesperson Shazia Ilmi said it is surprising that Singh did not respond to Mishra’s claims about the shell companies or the donations received. “They have also not explained why they removed the list of donors from the party website,” she said, alleging that she was among the first ones to see what was happening in the party and so moved out.