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Did RBI clear Amar Singh's donation: BJP

December 19, 2008 20:22 IST

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Reacting to reports that Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh [Images] contributed millions to former United States president Bill Clinton's [Images] foundation, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday demanded a clarification on whether Reserve Bank of India's [Get Quote] cleared the same and sought to know the source of the money.

"Politician Amar Singh figures in the list of donors to the Clinton Foundation. The amount paid is between one million (Rs five crores) to USD five million. The country is entitled to know if RBI clearance was taken before making the donation," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

According to reports, Amar Singh, Lakshmi Mittal [Images], the Confederation of Indian Industry and Tulsi R Tanti of Suzlon Energy [Get Quote] Limited are some of the prominent Indian donors.

Prasad said that since the payment made by Amar Singh was in US dollars and was a substantial amount, RBI clearance should have been sought as per the legal guidelines.

"We would also like to know the source of the funds given by Amar Singh. He is an MP, a political figure and, of late, has been supporting the UPA government," Prasad said.

In an exclusive interview with rediff.com, when he visited the US in September, Amar Singh said the specific purpose of his trip at that particular time was to meet with Hillary Clinton [Images] to among other things to urge her to push for the consummation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

He said, "I have had a very close relationship with Hillary Clinton. I had not met her for long. I had a dinner appointment with her yesterday night (September 12), where we spent some quality time together for more than two hours. So, that was the sole purpose of my visit because I thought that I should seize this opportunity to come and interact with her."

When asked how this relation was formed, Amar Singh had said, "Our relationship was formed long time back. We met together in India through Sant Chatwal (New York-based multi-millionaire hotelier and close friend of the Clintons) and thereafter it developed gradually and Mr Clinton came all the way to Lucknow to attend a dinner for me and then in all the Clinton program initiative meetings he has been calling me and interacting with me."




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