Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind KejriwalReuters

The noose seems to have tightened around Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who will debut in the 4 December assembly elections in Delhi, after the government sent the party a questionnaire demanding a response on the issue of foreign funding.

"AAP has not responded yet to the questionnaire," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told NDTV.

According to the Indian Constitution, no political party can receive funding from foreign countries, except from Indian nationals living abroad.

"In our country, it is an offence to receive money from any foreign source. AAP received money from those who hold Indian passports. Why wasn't any investigation held against existing political parties?" former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde told ANI.

He added that in the interest of the Indian democracy all political parties must be investigated.

AAP leader and chief ministerial candidate Arvind Kejriwal said, "Let them investigate us. If anything is proven against us we are ready to face double the punishment mentioned."

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy also joined hands with the ruling Congress and accused AAP of receiving donations from foreign source.

"My one press conference has ripped open the scum that populates Aaptards party (AAP). Why is Shri 420 (Arvind Kejriwal) talking more and more like A. Raja? Raja also says "I alone am not involved. Why others are not being investigated?" PTs look into  which gave $4 lakh dollars to Aaptards outfits to launch civil strife. The foundation did for Arabs too," Swamy had tweeted on Tuesday.

Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz told IBTimes, "Let's be crystal clear, Avaaz has never given any money to the AAP or any Indian political party. The AAP didn't even exist when Avaaz and its 8 lakh members in India were campaigning for Jan Lokpal."

He added, "Statements saying otherwise are simply distractions from the work of crores of Indians who care deeply about ridding India of the scourge of political corruption - it's these Indians, who come from every political party, that form the Avaaz membership. While we have not endorsed any party, as an anti-corruption organisation, it's telling that the political party that has opened their books to show where its funding comes from is the party being targeted in this absurd and baseless attack."

Kejriwal reacted to Swamy's accusations saying, "He (Swamy) is speaking on BJP's behalf. There is match-fixing between BJP and Congress."

After BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP) also demanded the Centre to probe the matter of AAP collecting funds from foreign source. "We are not in favour of parties receiving foreign funds. The government must probe anyone who is receiving such funds."

The Kejriwal-led AAP began its 'Jhaadu Chalao Yatra' in Delhi on Monday for the upcoming assembly polls. The party has collected ₹19 crore in donations from 63,000 different sources, AAP posted on its official site.

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