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MHA Alerted As AAP Foreign Funding Issue Resurfaces, Party Cries Foul

In response to the ED's allegations on Monday, Atishi, a Delhi minister from AAP, directed a message to the BJP, asserting, "Since its establishment, AAP has maintained absolute transparency in accepting every single rupee donation, furnishing comprehensive accounts to the Election Commission, Income Tax Department, and all pertinent institutions."

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 21, 2024 07:09 IST
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Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which governs Delhi and Punjab, has allegedly received over Rs 7 crore in foreign funds, violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), sources reported on Monday.

The AAP stated that the issue is old and that they have already responded to the authorities regarding the charges. They claimed the allegations are part of a conspiracy to defame the party and accused the BJP of being behind it.

The then ED Director S K Mishra sent the central probe agency’s first communication to the MHA on October 27, 2022, after recovering documents and emails during a money laundering probe related to a drug case involving former Punjab AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and others.

The ED arrested Khaira in 2021 on money laundering charges connected to the 2015 drugs case, but he was granted bail in 2022. In February 2023, the Supreme Court quashed the summoning order against him in the 2015 case.

What did the AAP say on the issue?

On August 4 last year, ED Joint Director Jitendra Kumar Gogia sent a detailed communication to a director of the FCRA division in the MHA, highlighting alleged violations by the AAP and categorizing them as contraventions of the FCRA and the Representation of the People Act. A source mentioned that the ED recently shared some fresh inputs in this case with the MHA.

Indian citizens or companies are the only entities permitted to donate to political parties. The Representation of the People Act 1951, Section 29B, and the FCRA, Section 3, both prohibit foreign contributions to political parties.

The ED’s communication to the MHA emerged two weeks after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended that the NIA investigate Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly receiving political funding for the AAP from the banned extremist organization Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

The recommendation was based on a complaint by Ashoo Mongia of the World Hindu Federation, who alleged that in a video following Kejriwal’s arrest, SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun claimed that AAP received $16 million from Khalistani groups between 2014 and 2022.

Responding to the ED’s allegations on Monday, AAP Delhi minister Atishi addressed the BJP, stating, “Since its inception, AAP has accepted every single rupee donation with complete transparency, providing full accounts to the Election Commission, Income Tax Department, and all relevant institutions. The current allegations are outdated, and AAP has already responded to the ED, CBI, MHA, and Election Commission.”

Also Read: Threatening Messages Against Arvind Kejriwal Appear In Delhi Metro

First published on: May 21, 2024 07:09 AM IST

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