New Delhi, Oct 13: India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal Saturday demanded the arrest of Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his dismissal from the Manmohan Singh ministry over allegations of siphoning off funds meant for providing aid to the disabled through an NGO run by him and his family.
Kejriwal was addressing his supporters on Parliament Street here where they were stopped by police when the IAC members were moving towards the prime minister’s 7 Race Course Road residence to press for their demand.
Kejriwal, who led a massive protest in the national capital on Friday, had been arrested and detained along with 150 others at a stadium in Bawana on the outskirts of Delhi. He was released late Friday night, but the activist and his supporters had refused to leave the stadium till Saturday morning.
The IAC had Saturday announced its intention of marching from Bawana to the prime minister’s residence to hold a protest, but the activists stopped on Parliament Street to hold an impromptu rally.
At the rally, Kejriwal told his supporters that Khurshid and his wife Louise had “siphoned off” the funds provided by the central government for disbursing it among the disabled in Uttar Pradesh by forging signatures of state government officials regarding aid camps in 10 districts that were never held.
“We demand that Khurshid be arrested immediately and be dismissed from the government. If he remains in the council of ministers, he will destroy all the evidence that is available against him and his family, apart from coercing government officials to toe his line,” the IAC leader, who had launched a political party recently, said.
Kejriwal did not spare the BJP too, saying the opposition party was the IAC’s BJP, as they had been repeating all that the anti-corruption movement has been doing.
“Congress is looting the country. But where is the opposition BJP? We are not the Team B of the BJP. BJP is our Team B, as they follow us on all issues, be it the protest against Delhi power bills or demanding the resignation of Khurshid,” he said in response to Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari’s remarks.
Tewari had called the IAC the Team B of the BJP.
“Both Congress and BJP are looting the nation. For two years, they have been challenging us to fight elections. Now, we will teach them what’s clean, patriotic politics. We will teach them how to contest the polls,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal said the expose on Khurshid’s NGO was done by Rashtriya Viklang Party president K.K. Dixit, who was among the protesters.
“We are with the disabled and their protest. We will stand by them till the logical end to this issue,” he added.
He also noted that Khurshid and his wife were indicted by the state government, the centre and the Comptroller and Auditor General, with all three conducting probe into the diversion of funds meant for the disabled by the NGO Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.
Kejriwal’s protest began following a TV channel expose that Khurshid’s NGO had siphoned off Rs.71 lakh.