Economy

Kejriwal seeks Khurshid’s arrest, ouster from Cabinet

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 12, 2012

Arvind Kejriwal waves to his supporters near Parliament Street soon after his release from a makeshift jail outside the Capital, on Saturday. — Kamal Narang   -  Business Line

Anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal raised his pitch on Saturday, demanding the arrest of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife, and Khurshid’s immediate dismissal from the Union Cabinet.

Kejriwal’s demand followed an expose alleging that the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, run by Khurshid’s wife, Louise, had “siphoned off” Rs 71 lakh given by the Centre meant for the disabled in Uttar Pradesh. This, he alleged, was done by forging signatures of State Government officials.

The expose, done by the Rashtriya Viklang Party (RVP), was aired by an English television channel on Friday.

Meanwhile, trashing Kejriwal’s allegations, Khurshid’s wife said these were “baseless innuendo, and said there was no reason why her husband should step down. “There is no inquiry against Khurshid either by the Central Government or any report by the CAG. So, why should he step down?” she asked.

Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni told newspersons that Khurshid would issue a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations on Sunday.

Activists released

On Friday, Kejriwal’s India Against Corruption (IAC) and RVP activists had tried to march towards the Prime Minister’s residence but were detained and lodged in a stadium in Bawana on the outskirts of Delhi.

On Saturday, the activists were released and took out an impromptu rally where Kejriwal demanded the immediate dismissal of Khurshid from the Union Cabinet.

“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,” he said.

Kejriwal did not spare the Opposition BJP, either. “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,” he said.

Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) draft report on the grants-in-aid released by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for 2011-12 is also believed to have suspected “fraud” in the accounts of the trust run by Khurshid and his wife.

> aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 12, 2012
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