Anti-corruption activists said Sunday they are going ahead with their Nov 1 rally against Salman Khurshid, India's newly-appointed external affairs minister who was in the thick of a controversy two weeks ago over an alleged financial impropriety by his trust.
Khurshid, 59, MP from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh and currently law minister, was on Sunday given the key external affairs portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle.
India Against Corruption (IAC), which on Saturday got permission from the Uttar Pradesh government to hold a rally against the minister on Nov 1 in Farrukhabad, said it was going ahead with it.
"Yes, it is on," an IAC activist told IANS.
Khurshid has been targeted by the Arvind Kejriwal-led IAC for alleged financial impropriety in the running of his Zakir Husain Memorial Trust which provides equipment like wheelchairs and hearing aids to the disabled, and for his comments.
"The cabinet reshuffle exposes the government since corrupt ministers are protected and rewarded," Kejriwal said after the cabinet reshuffle Sunday.
"Reshuffle exposes this government. Corrupt are not just protected but also rewarded," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"Salman (Khurshid) was law minister and has been made foreign minister. Does that mean he has failed as law minister or he did so well that he was made foreign minister? The country won't benefit from it," tweeted Kejriwal.
Khurshid, who took over as external affairs minister immediately, when asked if his appointment was an indication of the confidence he enjoyed of the government and the party, said, “It is for others to judge”. He added that one cannot “surrender before those who just make allegations".
The IAC has also described Khurshid as behaving "like a mafia don" for his alleged threat to Kejriwal.
Addressing a meeting in Farrukabad on Oct 16, Khurshid said: "I was told work with a pen and made a law minister.. I will work with a pen, but also with blood."
Referring to Kejriwal's threat to campaign against him in Farukkabad, the minister to the cheering of his supporters had said, "Let him come to Farukkabad, but he should keep in mind that he has to also return."
The minister later said he had been "misquoted" by media.
IAC member Prashant Bhushan said the minister was "behaving like a mafia don".