ED levels serious charge against Aam Aadmi Party, party responds

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak (File Image | Credit: IANS)

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak (File Image | Credit: IANS)

New Delhi | The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday termed the Enforcement Directorate’s charge that the party siphoned off funds collected during a fund-raising event in Canada in 2016 for personal benefits as completely ‘baseless’ and ‘false’.

The AAP also claimed that it has already filed its reply with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Election Commission, ED, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in what it termed as an ‘old case’.

According to AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak, there is no truth in the allegations.

“Even in 2015, such allegations were denied. Now after so many days, in view of the ongoing elections, such allegations are being levelled again,” Pathak claimed.


He said that in view of the Lok Sabha elections to be held in Delhi (May 25) and Punjab (June 1), such issues will be raised continuously by the BJP.

"Earlier, Arvind Kejriwal was sent to jail on false charges. The issue of Swati Maliwal was also raised, but when they saw that the people of Delhi and Punjab are denying such allegations, they are coming up with new allegations now,” he claimed.

To recall, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has submitted a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) claiming to unearth a Rs 7.08 crore foreign donation scandal involving the AAP, which violated FCRA and election guidelines by manipulating the donors' identities.

Sources said this amount was raised in violation of the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951, by concealing, mis-declaring and manipulating the identities and nationalities of foreign donors as well as several other facts relating to foreign donations.


According to the sources, the ED during its investigation found several instances of irregularities in the collection of foreign funds by the AAP and its leaders, as it accused some of them, including AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak, of siphoning off the funds collected during a fund-raising event in Canada in 2016 for personal benefits.

The ED has substantiated the allegations through the contents of e-mails exchanged between various AAP volunteers and functionaries, including Aniket Saxena (Coordinator of AAP Overseas India), Kumar Vishwas (then Convenor of AAP Oversea India), Kapil Bhardwaj (AAP member), and Pathak.

The investigation so far has revealed that not only amounts were collected through fund-raising campaigns in the US and Canada, and the identities of the actual donors were concealed to circumvent the restrictions imposed under FCRA on donations by foreign citizens to a political party, but an analysis of the data of foreign donations also revealed that multiple donors used the same passport numbers, e-mail IDs, mobile numbers, and credit card details for donations.


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