India Against Corruption (IAC) leader Arvind Kejriwal yesterday announced an indefinite agitation to demand the resignation and arrest of Law Minister Salman Khurshid over alleged financial irregularities in his NGO even as the minister’s wife Louise rubbished the allegations and the Congress came to his defence.
Kejriwal, who was arrested and detained, along with 150 supporters, at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana, was released on Friday night, but the activist and his supporters refused to leave the stadium till yesterday morning.
Kejriwal, IAC members, Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia, and Rashtriya Viklang Party (RVP) president, KK Dikshit, then reached Parliament Street, where Kejriwal announced the IAC decision to sit on an indefinite protest till the government acts on their demands.
Dikshit has alleged that Khurshid’s NGO siphoned off funds meant for the disabled. Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise slammed Kejriwal and a television channel for alleging that their NGO — Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust — had siphoned the funds meant for physically challenged people. “Our papers are open to scrutiny. We have got the bills for everything I have all the facts and figures to show the allegations are false,” said Louise, adding that they had found only three people who said they did not get the equipment. “If we had done a fraud on such a massive scale, wouldn’t they have found thousands of people (who did not get the equipment)?” said Louise.
While Salman Khurshid is the president of the trust, his wife is the project director. Referring to a draft Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report allegedly pointing to irregularities in the running of the trust, Louise said she had met the CAG and had been “assured” that the report would include her point of view.
Louise also termed Kejriwal as an “ambulance chaser”. “He is running a political party and is looking for issues.” she said.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari came in support of Khurshid. “Ultimately, whether something is true or false has to be judicially adjudicated before there is a finality to it. Untruth cannot become the basis of crucifying anybody. Indian jurisprudence holds that you and I enjoy equal protection of the laws and are innocent until proven guilty,” he added, rubbishing reports on the CAG report. “We are also reliably informed that the CAG report which has been reported by some newspapers is not the CAG report at all,” Tewari said.