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AAP alleges conspiracy after ED claims illegal foreign funding


Delhi's ruling AAP, amidst ongoing political conflicts with the BJP, faces new allegations from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of receiving ₹7 crore in illegal foreign funds between 2014 and 2022.

These funds reportedly came from donors in Canada, the United States, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Australia.

AAP leader Atishi responded furiously to the allegations on Monday, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP of orchestrating political attacks through federal agencies. "After the failure of the liquor scam and the Swati Maliwal case, now the BJP has brought this case (back)... this clearly shows BJP is losing the twenty seats of Delhi and Punjab. (But) all this is not going to work. This is not the ED's action... but the BJP. I know I am very angry with Modi," Atishi declared.

The Delhi PWD Minister emphasized that the charges relate to an 11-year-old case, which has already been addressed by the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation, Home Ministry, and Election Commission. "This is a conspiracy by Modi to defame AAP," she asserted. Atishi further claimed, "BJP does this before every election... many such false allegations will be made over the next four days (before Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats vote, all of which were won by the BJP last time)."

The ED claims that AAP's receipt of foreign funds during this period violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which prohibits political parties from accepting foreign contributions. According to the agency, numerous donors had identical passport numbers, credit card details, mobile phone numbers, and email IDs. A confidential report to the Home Ministry, which has been leaked, indicates that 155 people living abroad donated ₹1.02 crore on 404 occasions.

The ED alleges that each donation is linked to one of only 55 passports and that AAP hid donor identities and routed the funds into an account with IDBI Bank Ltd to avoid restrictions. This alleged breach of the law surfaced during investigations into a drug smuggling case involving former AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who is now with the Congress. Documents seized during a raid on Khaira's home reportedly contained information on these donors, and some funds were allegedly siphoned by other AAP leaders for personal use.

This is not the first time AAP has faced accusations of receiving foreign funds. In 2013, under the Congress-led UPA government, AAP was linked to foreign funding. Arvind Kejriwal had then challenged the Congress to probe foreign funds received by both itself and the BJP, claiming the Congress was "scared of the AAP."

In the same year, the Association for Democratic Reforms approached the Delhi High Court, alleging that both the BJP and Congress had received significant funds from Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies. The Union Home Ministry later reported finding no evidence, and a petition seeking a full-fledged probe was dismissed. However, two years later, the central government again asked AAP to explain foreign contributions, prompting AAP to accuse the government of a "witch hunt."

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TAGS:KejriwalAAPAtishiLok Sabha Elections 2024
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