20 OCT, 2012, 09.02PM IST, PTI
India against corruption: Digvijaya questions offshore funding of Arvind Kejriwal’s NGO
NEW DELHI: Stepping up his attack against Arvind Kejriwal, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh posed a number of questions to him raising doubts about off-shore funding of his NGO and asking why he never raised issue of corruption in BJP-ruled states.
A day after shooting off a letter to Kejriwal in which the Congress leader described him as a “self-serving ambitious megalomaniac having “streak” of Hitler, Singh today sent the activist a list of 27 questions asking him to “respond to them with clarity and honesty as you demand from others.”
“Why there are no details of individual donors and Corporate donors on any website of your NGOs….Is it a fact that the NGO, Kabir, with whom you are closely associated, received 172000 USD and 197000 USD from Ford Foundation in 2005 and 2009 respectively?
“Was this foreign money used to organise seminars, advocacy, discussions, programmes, social media campaigns and publicity material related to the issue of corruption?” Singh asked.
The AICC leader also sought to know Kejriwal’s “relationship with US based NGO Avaaz” which, he said, has been funding civil disobedience movement in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Singh said, “What is the logistical and other support your anti-corruption movement received from Avaaz?”
In the backdrop of the controversy surrounding land deals of some of Kejriwal’s associates including Prashant Bhusan and Anjali Damania, Singh asked the activist whether he will be “willing to take responsibility as a leader and resign from IAC or give up public life, if any of his staff members of colleagues in the IAC are found to have been involved in any irregularity.”
Singh reminded while Kejriwal asked for the resignation of Law Minister Salman Khurshid for irregularity committed by people working in his Trust, he “never objected when Anna Hazare said that he cannot be held responsible for the action of colleagues/office-bearers in Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan Trust”.
Singh, a known detractor of Kejriwal, also sought to know from him as to why he “never raised issue of corruption in the BJP-ruled states” though local press and political parties and CAG have reported cases of corruption there.
“You have been asking for Jan Lokpal in Government of India but have not questioned Narendra Modi, who has successfully blocked appointment of Lokayuktas in Gujarat since 2002. Would be please explain, why?”, he asked.
Singh also asked some questions related to Kejriwal and his wife’s service tenure and rules saying “you have always preached that we, politicians, should not violate rules and regulations but to the best of my knowledge, you have violated provisions of All India Service Rules yourself.
“Is it a fact that in your entire service of 20 years in Indian Revenue Service, you never served outside Delhi even though the norms of the service are that all IRS officers serve a posting only for three years in a place? Is it a fact that even your wife, who is also an IRS officer, has never served outside Delhi?
“Is it a fact that any serving officer, who goes on study leave for two years with full pay has to submit a full report of his study to the Government? Is it a fact that you did not submit a full report but only an interim report with a promise to submit a full report later, which you never did,” he asked.
Singh sought to know whether Kejriwal, while in service, took permission from the ministry to receive foreign and private funds for his NGO. “As a serving officer of IRS did you take permission of Government to form your NGO?, Singh asked
Singh further asked Kejriwal, “Is it a fact that you took a cheque of Rs 2 crore to Anna Hazare and he refused to accept as he felt collection was much more? A senior member of your Core Committee has alleged that you have misappropriated funds to the tune of Rs 20 crore. Why you have not responded to this charge?”
Singh asked Kejriwal whether it was a fact that he diverted funds, received by him in name of India Against Corruption to his NGO Parivarthan/Public Cause Research Foundation. “Why have you collected funds for IAC in Parivarthan/PCRF?,” Singh said.
He asked him whether it was true that Mumbai coordinator of India Against Corruption, Mayank Gandhi has been personally involved a redevelopment proposal in South Mumbai by the name of Remaking of Mumbai Federation.
“Is it true the proposal was pushed through in an illegal manner by the BMC, which is under Shiv Sena, immediately after start of Hazare agitation and the government of Maharashtra has found out several illegalities in the project,” he said.
Singh asked whether it is true that Mayank has been “financing the activities of IAC? How much fund and logistical support has been received from Mayank by IAC”.
The Congress leader also questioned Kejriwal’s recent action of connecting a disconnected electric connection on non-payment of dues asking him whether it was a criminal act to do so or not.
Singh also asked him whether he had announced to lead a Tehrir Square like movement in Delhi.
During his protest march along with a group of the disabled people on October 12 towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence demanding resignation and arrest of Law minister Salman Khurshid, Kejriwal said this was a fight to finish and “now let’s make this place another Tahrir Square”
Singh also asked Kejriwal whether it was a fact that while in IRS job he was transferred to Chandigarh but he never joined and “then sought voluntary retirement from service and even without it being approved, absented from the office”.
“Isn’t it a fact that the Service Rules provide that an officer, who goes on a study leave has to compulsorily serve Government for three years? Is it a fact that you went on unsanctioned leave, without permission, after serving for only one and half a year, post the study leave,” Singh asked him.
Talking to reporters in Raghogarh, his ancestral town in Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh said, “All the issues that I have raised so far were subsequently proved right in the due course of time. I expect that Kejriwal will show courage by replying to my questions.”
“Normally, when people do not have answers to my questions, they call me insane. If asking questions is insanity, then I am insane,” the Congress leader said.
Referring to Madhya Pradesh High Court’s recent order asking the CBI to probe Treasure Island (TI) mall case allegedly involving him, Singh said he had welcomed the decision.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister also claimed that he had not signed a single paper pertaining to the case.
The High Court had specifically directed the CBI to decipher the code words/numbers mentioned on the papers relating to Treasure Island file. “As far as any code word is concerned, I don’t have any problem in its probe,” Singh said.