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Akhilesh ‘honest’ snub to Kejriwal

Akhilesh

New Delhi, Oct. 14: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav today advised India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal not to damn every politician and showcase himself as the “only honest person on this planet”.

Akhilesh was speaking to The Telegraph after Kejriwal alleged that the Samajwadi Party chief minister was in cahoots with Union law minister Salman Khurshid to “whitewash” the state government’s probe into a philanthropic trust run by Khurshid and his wife Louise.

“He (Kejriwal) has this propensity to tar every politician on his radar. But he should stop believing that he is the only honest person on this planet. We have all been elected directly by the people and we are accountable to them eventually,” Akhilesh said over the phone.

A source close to the chief minister said that shortly after Akhilesh assumed office last March, he was “inundated” with complaints of embezzlement against several politicians and organisations.

“The big ones, implicating some of the ministers in the Mayawati government, caught his attention. He demanded time-bound investigations into such cases and took a personal interest in them, as a result of which some of the former ministers were chargesheeted,” the source said.

“The complaints against the Khurshids’ NGO were fairly small in comparison, and perhaps didn’t strike the chief minister as extraordinary.’

But after Kejriwal and a TV channel accused the Khurshids of “misusing” central funds and disbursing them among ghost recipients, Akhilesh ordered a fresh inquiry and has been taking a personal interest in it, the source said.

The report of an earlier probe, said to have been started by the Mayawati government, was sent to the Centre on June 12. Kejriwal alleged that based on its findings, the Centre had issued a show-cause notice to the trust, set up to help the physically challenged.

The source close to Akhilesh said the chief minister did not agree with the earlier report because he was convinced that the Khurshids had committed no irregularities. The camps to distribute crutches, tricycles and prosthetics among the disabled were held regularly and Khurshid himself inaugurated some of them, he said.

With the Congress-Samajwadi Party relations on a fairly steady keel, political sources said it was unlikely that Akhilesh would politicise the controversy and use it to embarrass the Congress.

The source said Akhilesh was not rattled by Kejriwal’s insinuation that his government’s probe was an “effort to destroy the evidence”, purportedly released by a TV “sting” against the Khurshids.

“He (Akhilesh) is convinced that there is no prima facie case,” the source said.