Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra fainted at a media conference on Sunday but not before he had accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party of ‘massive’ financial irregularities.
Mishra demanded Kejriwal's resignation and said if he didn’t step down, the former water minister would ‘drag’ the chief minister by his ‘collar’ and ‘lock him up’ in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
“It has now become clear that Arvind Kejriwal is a corrupt man,” Mishra said before he swooned, apparently weakened by five days of fasting in protest against AAP’s refusal to disclose details of five party leaders’ travels abroad.
Mishra told the media at his residence that AAP had received ‘crores of rupees’ from ‘shell companies’ run by people close to Kejriwal, mentioning in particular AAP legislators Shiv Charan Goel and Naresh Yadav.
These shell companies, Mishra alleged, also had ‘ghost’ directors who donated money to the party and converted ‘black money into white’.
He said there were also discrepancies in the money received by AAP and the amount it declared before the Election Commission.
The party refuted Mishra’s charges and said he was ‘parroting’ the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In another press conference, AAP MLAs Goel and Yadav denied links with the entities named by Mishra and said they would file a defamation suit against him.
Mishra fainted before he could share with the media documents he said proved his charges.
He was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, where doctors said he was stable and conscious, but suffered from ‘a little weakness and mild dehydration’.
“His vital signs are all normal,” an RML doctor said.
Earlier, referring to one of the cases of alleged discrepancies, Mishra said AAP received Rs 90 lakh as donation from a person identified as Priya Bansal of Bengaluru for 2014-15 and 2015-16, but the tax payable on her income was merely Rs 4,000.
“In 2014-15, AAP had Rs 65,52,40,752 (Rs 65.5 crore) in its bank account, but the Election Commission was informed about only Rs 32,46,16,662 (Rs 32.4 crore) while the party put only Rs 27,38,71,611 (Rs 27.3 crore) in the public domain and told its volunteers it had no money,” Mishra said.
He also held that the party had made 461 ‘bogus’ entries.
“All this happened with the knowledge of Arvind Kejriwal as these shell companies deposited money in AAP’s bank account on the same day and time in January 2014,” Mishra said, brandishing a sheaf of documents.
Mishra was accompanied at the meet by a man identified as Neil Haslam, who he said helped in ‘exposing’ the funding.
“This is why I have been demanding foreign travel details of five AAP leaders,” Mishra said.
He added that he would also approach the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday with documents and would soon expose another ‘scam’ related to AAP’s mohalla or health clinics.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said Mishra was echoing the allegations the BJP voiced just before the 2015 assembly polls.
“This is the BJP’s ploy to finish AAP. It should stop questioning the credentials of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. He (Kejriwal) quit as the joint commissioner with the income tax department as well as the chief minister (during his first term as CM). We have ensured all transparency while accepting funds,” Singh said.
On May 7, Mishra had claimed that he had seen Health Minister Satyendra Jain pay Rs 2 crore to Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, the Congress demanded a thorough probe into the allegations levelled by Mishra.
“The allegations are serious. Kejriwal should step down on moral and legal grounds,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said at a press conference in New Delhi.
IMAGE: MLA Kapil Mishra, who fainted after his press conference on revelations on AAP's finances, being taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, in New Delhi on Sunday. Photograph: PTI Photo