Khurshid trust: Akhilesh refuses to comment

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 12:19 hrs

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said he will not comment on the ongoing controversies related to Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust before an investigation is completed on the issue.

"The probe had started under the previous government and will continue," Yadav told reporters on Monday.

"I cannot comment on the issue before the probe is completed," he said.

Yadav made the comments on a day when social activist turned politician Arvind Keriwal mounted pressure on Khurshid and his 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.

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 attacked Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav´s 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.

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.

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