Khurshid salvages pride
The law minister today defended himself well after he came out with strong evidences to suggest no financial wrong doings in the trust run by him and his wife
Akash Bisht Delhi
As Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid was busy interacting with journalists about charges of misappropriation of funds by his NGO, an old man was being escorted towards his table. Hidden behind the melee of camerapersons and reporters, it was difficult to identify the man who many speculated was some senior politician who had come to Khurshid’s rescue. The man turned out to be Rangee Mistry, one of the four people who had featured on the sting operation conducted by Aaj Tak which claimed that that Zakir Hussain trust, run by Khurshid and his wife, was involved in embezzlement of funds.
When asked about the sting, Mistry said that he had received a hearing aid two years back and lied so that he could get another one. His revelation was received with a loud cheer by Khurshid and supporters who were till now finding it difficult to defend the law minister. A visibly joyous Khurshid started to clap and the smile that eluded him for most of the evening now adorned his face. His followers chanted slogans of Khurshid zindabad. At the end of it, the law minister seemed successful in defending himself and with this revelation he had manage to salvage his pride.
Ealier in the day, Khurshid provided documentary evidences and testimonies to prove that the camps for disabled were held by Zakir Hussain Trust, an NGO run by the law minister and his wife in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh. A sting operation conducted by news channel Aaj Tak in a sting had claimed that none of the camps were held by the trust and forged documents were produced to seek more funds. Aaj Tak reported that the Union Social Welfare and Empowerment Ministry had granted Rs 71.50 lakh to the NGO for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
The law minister even provided photographic evidences of the camps and also rallied few eminent persons to prove his innocence. He even displayed photograph of JB Singh distributing hearing aid to differently-abled persons. Incidentally, it was alleged that the signatures of Singh were forged in an affidavit that mentioned about the good work that the NGO has been doing. “The allegation was not that the camps were symbolic and deficient. The allegation was that there were no camps held! Now, tell me that all these government officials who attended the camps are liars and the reports in the media are true!” he said.
He also maintained that he has copies of an utilisation certificate and account audits of the NGOs which proves that Rs 71 lakhs have been utilised. He also waved copy of the purchase order issued by the hospitals for the purchase of equipment for the disabled. “Are all of this forged, false?” asks Khurshid. “I’m hurt. How many people reach out to the disabled?” he said. Later, Khurshid lost his cool after Aaj Tak journalists kept asking him uncomfortable questions. He asked them to shut up and cautioned them that he would see them in court.