New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The government is probing the source of foreign funding to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Monday. The AAP hit back, demanding a probe into the funding of the BJP and the Congress too.
"We have got complaints about foreign funding to AAP and are probing the matter. Investigations take time, and we are looking for the source behind the funding," Shinde said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also said that foreign funding, if any, needed to be probed. "Foreign funding of a political party is not allowed, it should be probed," BJP's Ravishankar Prasad said.
AAP founder leader Arvind Kejriwal said he was ready for any investigation but a similar yardstick should also be applied to the BJP and Congress.
"They can probe us but they should also investigate the funding of the BJP and Congress. The home minister should reveal the source of the Congress party's funding too," said Kejriwal.
"We don't have foreign funding, we have NRI donors. We have put up details of all donors and audit report on our web site."
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas challenged the government to prove them guilty.
"There's no point in making allegations against us. I challenge both the Congress and the BJP to prove us guilty. We receive all our funds in a transparent manner," he said.
"Both the parties are sacred of us," he added.
A statement from the party later quoted the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) as saying that two-thirds of funding for political parties like the BJP, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party is from unknown sources.
"ADR's analysis had also revealed that Congress and BJP had got funding from a foreign company - Vedanta - something which is not allowed under Sections 3 and 4 of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act 1976," AAP said.
"Thus, the question is whether the other political parties follow what they preach about transparency? Are they ready to share the source of their funding?" it asked.
The debutant AAP has become the third major forces in the Delhi assembly elections, which normally saw only straight contests between the Congress and the BJP.