Kejriwal counters Khurshid's evidences

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 07:44 hrs

Social activist turned politician Arvind Keriwal on Monday added pressure on Salman Khurshid and his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust by producing more evidences against the Union Law Minister to counter the proof given by him on Sunday in connection to charges of embezzlement brought against him by a TV sting operation.

Kejriwal again alleged that the photographs shown by Khurshid were from 2010-11 fiscal.

"Yesterday, Salman Khurshid showed photographs and said JB Singh was present at the camps. However, he was later caught as the photos were from 2010-2011. The allegations are about 2009-10," Kejriwal said.

He alleged that most people on Khurshid´s list did not receive equipment.

"His trust provided aids to dead persons. One of the beneficiaries of the schemes was not even physically challenged," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal slammed Congress and said: "Why is the Congress defending the trust? The NGO belongs to Congress or Salman Khurshid?"

The social activist also presented one Pankaj Kumar who said he had problem with his foot but he was given a hearing aid by the trust.

Kejriwal then said Kumar did not receive anything from the trust.

Kejriwal even attacked Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and said: "Mulayam Singh himself is facing allegations in the Supreme Court for disproportionate assets."

"Mulayam Singh´s case is pending. Do you know who is advocating Yadav in the court? It is Salman Khurshid," Kejriwal said.

"So Khurshid will save Mulayam and Mulayam´s son (Akhilesh Yadav) will save Khurshid," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal made the remarks a day after Khurshid responded to the charges of embezzlement and came up with pictures and documents to show camps for disabled were held in different districts of Uttar Pradesh by his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

He showed photographs of the camps and even a utilisation letter that mentioned Rs 71.5 lakh.

Khurshid also showed audited accounts that had appliance details for the disabled.

"The core charge is that camps for disabled were not held. We held camps for differently-abled regularly," Khurshid said while addressing a press conference on Sunday.

He also stated the list of equipment that was given to disabled people at the camps.

The minister said he respect the media but had no option but to file ´defamation suit against Aaj Tak´.

Speaking indirectly about Kejriwal, who has been protesting against the Law Minister for the past couple of days, Khurshid said: "I will not answer questions today on a person from the street who is making allegations. These are not allegations against my party."

"These are allegations against my trust," he said.

Khurshid's wife Louise Khurshid on Friday filed a defamation suit against the TV network for accusing her of embezzlement charges even as fresh reports on Saturday appeared to bolster the case against the Congress leader.

Seeking damages of Rs 100 crore, the lawsuit was filed against the TV Today group for airing the defamatory programme on its channels, Headlines Today and Aaj Tak, media reports said citing unnamed sources.

According to the TV network´s report, Khurshids´ Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust had been granted Rs 71.50 lakh by the union social welfare and empowerment ministry for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in Uttar Pradesh.

Forging signatures of senior officials in several districts of the state the NGO embezzled funds off the grants and deprived the physically challenged who were eligible for benefits under the scheme.

Both Salman Khurshid, who is the president of the Trust, and his wife -- the project director -- have vehemently denied any wrongdoing even as activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal lambasted the couple over the graft charges.

The accusations were used by Kejriwal and his supporters to launch a campaign against the Law Minister and demand his resignation.

"If Khurshid has any shame, he will resign today," Kejriwal said on Sunday.

Khurshid earlier in the day said: "I will leave politics if charges proved true."

"Hoodlums on the streets are not going to tell us what to do. We will fight these charges honorably," he said.

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