Probing source of foreign funding to AAP: Shinde - The Times of India NEW DELHI: The Centre has initiated a probe into the source of funding of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with the Union home ministry trying to establish if it received any money from foreign donors in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). "We have ordered an enquiry into funding of AAP to verify if any foreign donations were routed to it," Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told newspersons here a day after Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit questioned the source of nearly Rs 19 crore collected by the newly floated party led by activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal. However, Shinde refused to put a timeline as to when the results of the enquiry would be available. "Such matters take time...one has to see from which foreign country the donations may be coming," he said, giving ample indications that the probe might continue well after the Delhi state polls, due on December 4. The Representation of People Act (RPA) debars political parties from receiving contributions from a foreign source defined under clause (e) of the Section 2 of the FCRA, 1976. The FCRA, too, states that it has been formulated "to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not utilized to affect or influence electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working in the important areas of national life like journalists, printers and publishers of newspapers among others. According to the AAP, it has collected Rs 19 crore as donations from around 63,000 individuals belonging to cross section of society. The party claims to have received donations ranging from Rs 10 to several lakhs, from rickshaw-pullers, traders, industrialists and NRIs . "Our aim was to collect Rs 20 crore for Delhi assembly elections, and we would soon be achieving that target. Till the last week of September, we had collected around Rs 10 crore but within a span of a month, we have received Rs 9 crore as donations," said an AAP spokesperson. The Delhi high court had on October 24 asked the government to enquire into whether any of the donations received by Aam Aadmi Party came from foreign source in violation of the FCRA. It asked the Centre to report by December 10 about the accounts of AAP. The AAP, however, questioned the probe sought by the court on the basis of "mala fide" petition by advocate M L Sharma, "who has not made AAP a respondent but made Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan as respondents". "Though the petition makes all types of ridiculous allegations against Team Anna and an NGO Kabir with which Manish Sisodia was associated, it does not disclose the result of an earlier petition filed by Sharma against foreign funding of Kabir. The government after full investigation had found everything to be in order," claimed AAP. The AAP also drew attention to a similar petition filed by Association for Democratic Reforms questioning the funding of Congress and BJP by foreign firms like Vedanta. "The government has been dragging its feet in that case and has taken no action despite documentary evidence of substantial funding of the Congress and the BJP by foreign companies," alleged an AAP spokesperson.