More proof against Khurshid on Monday: Kejriwal

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 02:49 hrs

New Delhi: Activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday dismissed the purported proofs produced by Salman Khurshid and said he will produce more evidence on Monday that bolster embezzlement charges against the Union Law Minister.

"He (Salman Khurshid) must have conducted a few camps but the majority of them didn't take place... I question all the proof he put out," Kejriwal said, alleging that the photographs shown by Khurshid were from 2010-11 fiscal.

"The photos he showed today do not come under the time frame. The allegations are about 2009-10. He has been caught," he said.

Kejriwal also asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are silent on the issue.

Khurshid on Sunday responded to the charges of embezzlement brought against him by a TV sting operation 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'.

"I'm hurt. How many people reach out to the disabled? We did and a senior, respected politician like me is being dragged through the dirt. Don't know what evil makes someone do that. I'm deeply hurt!" Khurshid said.

Speaking indirectly about social activist turned politician Arvind 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.

Activists from the Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption (IAC), who are protesting for the past three days, gathered near the VVIP gate of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here and demonstrated against Khurshid, who returned from London on Sunday.

The protesters were seen shouting slogans against the Law Minister.

They also launched a protest outside Khrushid's residence as the Union Minister returned from a trip to London, saying they were waiting for him to answer their questions.

Heightening his pitch against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Kejriwal said that the corrupt practices of the coalition government had forced people like him to launch such cacophonous attacks.

"Yes we are guttersnipes, we are third rate people, we are bad people. But who has made us third rate people? It is their government who has done this. This third rate people have become fearless," he said.

"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.

More from Sify: