Kejriwal eats crow after Transparency denies claim on graft

Former Delhi chief minister and Aam Admi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal was obliged to eat crow on Tuesday over his claims, later proved false, that the Indian arm of Amnesty International had found in a study that corruption in the city-state had come down during his brief rule of 49 days.

The AAP apologised to Transparency International for the claims made by Arvind Kejriwal and other party leaders like Shazia Ilmi that a study by the global corruption watchdog had shown a decrease in corruption in Delhi during the AAP rule.

The apology came after Transparency denied conducting any study or publishing any report on corruption in Delhi during the AAP rule. "We don't have any report like this. We haven't carried out any survey or report. AAP should clarify this as our stand is very clear that we haven't carried any survey," Transparency International India executive director Ashutosh Kumar Mishra said in a press release.

Apart from Ilmi, Kejriwal too, during a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) meet on Monday, claimed that Transparency was set to release a report which said that corruption has reduced in Delhi.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Harsh Vardhan hit out at Kejriwal in the Delhi assembly, saying he was a habitual liar.

"He has been telling lies continuously and misleading people. I had published his 30 lies after completion of 30 days of his government. Despite that his one lie comes out every day," Vardhan said.

A former police officer and social activist, Kiran Bedi, cautioned Kejriwal to check facts before making them public. "If you quote somebody or a source publicly, it is very important that source should stand by your claim and back your statement otherwise you lose your credibility," she said.

Defending Kejriwal, his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said controversies were being manufactured to hamper AAP electoral prospects.

"People are trying to manufacture controversy. Arvind Kejriwal said that he spoke to them. Arvind Kejriwal never claimed that they have given a report. It is true that he spoke to them," said AAP leader Gopal Rai.

Last week, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister of Delhi, frustrated by obstacles put in the way of an anti-corruption bill, and immediately proposed fresh elections for the capital.