Kejriwal offered Anna unspent IAC funds, he refused
Some months before Anna Hazare split with his once close associate Arvind Kejriwal, the latter had offered to hand over to the veteran activist unspent funds of India Against Corruption (IAC) lying with Kejriwal’s NGO Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), sources close to Hazare in his village Ralegan Siddhi said.
Hazare, however, declined to accept the money, these sources said.
They said that with tensions beginning to peak in Team Anna over converting the anti-corruption movement into a political party, Kejriwal had travelled to Ralegan Siddhi “a few months ago” with a cheque of “around Rs 2 crore” and requested Anna to accept it. The sources could not recollect the exact date when Kejriwal made his request.
“Arvindji had brought a cheque of an amount around Rs 2 crore. That was all the IAC money that PCRF had in its account then. This was the time when formation of a political party had become a bone of contention in the core team. Arvindji offered the cheque to Annaji. However, Annaji refused, and Arvindji returned to Delhi with the cheque,” a close aide of Hazare’s told The Sunday Express.
Dinesh Waghela, a former member of the now defunct IAC core committee, confirmed that Kejriwal had made the offer to Hazare in Ralegan Siddhi.
Kejriwal could not be reached for a comment. Text messages and emails remained unanswered.
The issue of unspent IAC funds lying with PCRF was reportedly raised by an ex-core committee member in Hazare’s September 20 meeting with pro-movement activists in Delhi’s Maharashtra Sadan.
The ex-core committee member is learnt to have asked Hazare if they should request Kejriwal to hand over the IAC volunteer database and the unspent donation funds, as it was this faction that would continue the anti-graft movement for which the donations were originally collected.
To this, Hazare said he had already declined Kejriwal’s offer of the money, said another ex-core committee member who was present at the meeting.
“Try to get the data but don’t ask for the money. Arvind had offered me Rs 2 crore but I refused to take it and asked him to keep it,” this ex-core committee member quoted Hazare as having said.
Despite several attempts, the exact amount of IAC donation money that PCRF currently holds in its account could not be ascertained.
Since its hugely successful protest at Jantar Mantar in April 2011, the IAC received liberal monetary support from donors. According to an audit report published by IAC last year, in the six months between April 1 and September 30, 2011, it received Rs 2.94 crore in donations, including Rs 1.14 crore received during the Ramlila agitation alone.
According to the report, the IAC spent Rs 1.57 crore during these six months.
After this audit report, published in November 2011, the IAC hasn’t made public the details of donations collected and expenditure incurred until now, barring details of the collection of Rs 39.5 lakh during its recent protest at Jantar Mantar from July 25 to August 3, on the last day of which the announcement on forming a political party was made.