Arvind Kejriwal advises Salman Khurshid to retire from Politics

Launching another attack on Law Minister Salman Khurshid today, India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal again demanded the union minister’s resignation.

Kejriwal has charged the minister with corruption, saying that the NGO, Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, run by his wife Louise Khurshid, siphoned off funds meant for the physically disabled.

Saying that the allegations were made on the basis of a probe done by the Uttar Pradesh government, Kejriwal asked whether Khurshid would resign from politics if the charges are proved to be true.

If disabled people did not benefit from the trust, then will he resign and give up politics,” Kejriwal asked.

He must announce his resignation today (Sunday),” Kejriwal said.

The activist quoted a report by the Akhilesh Yadav-led government in Uttar Pradesh and alleged that the NGO had forged the signature of Ram Raj Singh, an Uttar Pradesh government official, recommending grants for the NGO.

“Ram Raj Singh says he didn’t sign papers for Khurshid’s organisation. Singh had retired in January. How could he sign in March. Didn’t Khurshid’s organisation forge signatures of Ram Raj Singh,” Kejriwal questioned.

He also alleged that the signature of another official, J.B. Singh, was forged in an affidavit saying the NGO has done good work.

“Do you accept that your trust forged an affidavit of J.B. Singh,” Kejriwal asked.

The anti-corruption activist also questioned whether the probe’s report was wrong and if Khurshid agreed with the allegations.

A show-cause notice was sent to Louise Khurshid July 3 to explain all of this. No response has been sent so far,” Kejriwal said.

We want to ask if the Uttar Pradesh government’s report is fake. If it is fake, action should be taken against Akhilesh Yadav,” he said.

He also said that the Uttar Pradesh government may try to bring another report suppressing the facts.

Salman Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid has slammed Kejriwal and a television channel for alleging that their NGO had siphoned off Rs.71 lakh meant for physically challenged people and termed the charges as false.

Louise Friday filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against the TV Today Group seeking damages of Rs.100 crore, said court sources.

According to the Aaj Tak television channel report, the union social welfare and empowerment ministry had granted Rs.71.50 lakh to the Khurshids’ NGO for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

While Salman Khurshid is the president of the trust, his wife is the project director.

However Salman Khurshid  has vehemently rejected allegations of financial irregularities in an NGO run by his wife Louise Khurshid, saying he would leave politics if the charges were found to be true.

“You think the law minister is going to forge signatures for this purpose. I will leave politics if these signatures are found to be forged,” Salman Khurshid told Karan Thapar in an interview broadcast on CNN-IBN.

He was responding to charges by India Against Corruption (IAC) leader Arvind Kejriwal over alleged financial irregularities in his NGO, Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

“Will you (media) leave journalism if these signatures are found to be forged? The time has come for you (media) to begin to answer these questions,” Salman Khurshid said.

Nearly 150 protesters assembled outside Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here Sunday morning, shouting slogans against Salman Khurshid as he landed here after a visit to London.

Salman Khurshid, who was in London to receive an honour at Oxford University, arrived here early Sunday. As he landed, IAC supporters gathered near the VVIP gate of IGI airport, shouting slogans and holding placards demanding his ouster as law minister.