Foreign funding: Home ministry to inspect AAP accounts

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Not satisfied with the replies provided by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Home Ministry plans to inspect the books of accounts of the party in connection with allegations of illegal foreign funding.

AAP had sent replies to queries regarding alleged violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act while receiving funds from abroad, ministry officials said. "We need further interaction with AAP as we need some clarification on their replies. We will inspect their books of accounts," said an official.

Investigations into AAP's foreign funding started following a directive of the Delhi High Court in response to a public interest litigation.

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The AAP, which is set to form the government in Delhi, said it was ready for any kind of probe and insisted that it had taken donations only from Indians — residing in the country and abroad. The Home Ministry foreigner division, which is examining the matter, had sent a questionnaire to the party early last month.

AAP said it collected about Rs 19 crore till November 8 as donations from 63,000 people, including several NRIs. It claimed to have received donations ranging from Rs 10 to several lakhs — from rickshaw pullers, industrialists and people from all walks of life — to fight the polls and bring a "graft-free" administration.

Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit had questioned the source of funding of AAP, whose main election plank was to check corruption.

AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said they would be "very happy" if the Home Ministry checked their accounts. "In our earlier reply to the Home Ministry, we answered every query with transparency. We take the passport numbers of any donor from outside the country to ensure that he or she is indeed an Indian citizen. However, once the central government is through with us, perhaps it would please them to investigate the accounts of the BJP and the Congress as well," Yadav said.

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