BJP, AAP indulge in war of words over funding of rallies in Goa
The BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday crossed swords over funding of their public meetings and events held at Goa, and demanded details about the money they have spent on these in recent past.
BJP’s St. Andre legislator Vishnu Wagh had questioned the source of money used for AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s public meeting in Panaji on Sunday. On Monday, the AAP retorted by demanding that the BJP disclose all its expenditure and the Goa government can investigate the AAP’s accounts.
“AAP challenges the BJP to come on a public platform with its accounts and expenditure. We will come with our accounts. We also challenge the BJP government to investigate our accounts,” AAP state co-ordinator Valmiki Naik said.
Aiming to counter the AAP charge, BJP state unit president Vinay Tendulkar later reiterated the party’s demand that the AAP must come clean on the funding of its meeting here held on Sunday.
However, when queried, Tendulkar refused to share financial details about the mammoth public meetings of Narendra Modi, then an aspiring prime minister, in 2014 hosted by the party, and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in December 2015.
“Last 15 days, around 1,000 AAP’s workers were moving around Goa, speaking in Hindi. Where have they collected thousands of rupees from and who has given the money (to organise the public meeting on Sunday). First, they (AAP) should come clean on this before commenting on the Goa government,” Tendulkar told a press conference here.
On Sunday, the AAP organised a meeting which was addressed by Kejriwal. Around 8,000 people attended.
Tendulkar said that when it comes to a public meeting, the BJP spends around Rs.15 to Rs.20 per person in attendance.
But he refused to respond to questions from the media about the money spent by the party to organise the ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rally of Narendra Modi in January 2014 and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s public felicitation on his birthday in December 2015.
When specifically asked about the cost incurred by the BJP and the mode of funding for the Modi rally, Tendulkar said: “I don’t know. People came on their own. We spent but I don’t remember. You are asking me after several years.”
About the cost incurred on Parrikar’s public felicitation, Tendulkar said: “The birthday rally was not organised by the party. People had organised it”.