New Delhi: Team Anna
member Arvind Kejriwal had siphoned Rs.70-80 lakh belonging to
India Against Corruption (IAC), headed by Anna Hazare, and
diverted the money to his private trust, alleges activist Swami
Agnivesh who has now parted ways with the anti-graft movement.
Kejriwal has demanded evidence for the charges made by Agnivesh.
"Kejriwal siphoned Rs.70-80 lakh received as public donations
during Anna Hazare's 12-day fast at Ramlila Ground in August into
his private trust. It is a sad situation that the movement that
began to fight corruption is involved in corrupt practices,"
Agnivesh told IANS.
The Magsaysay award winner, he claimed, was refusing to produce
According to Agnivesh, who was one of the founding members of the
IAC, Kejriwal had delayed the operating of an account in the name
of IAC despite several directions from the core committee to do
"Kejriwal instead saw to it that the contributions to the
anti-corruption movement are received in the accounts of his
private trust - Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF)."
"This is a blow to the millions of people who had great
expectations on the movement," he said.
Reacting to the charges, all that Kejriwal would tell IANS in an
sms message was: "Did he give any evidence?"
Agnivesh, whose photograph still appears on the IAC website, was
ousted from Team Anna in August for his alleged proximity to the
According to Agnivesh, Hazare had stated at a meeting of the core
committee in his village Ralegan Sidhi in September that donations
should have been received in a proper account of the IAC.
Hazare had directed Kejriwal to publish the accounts by a
scheduled date but that has also not been done, Agnivesh added.
The allegations come after The Indian Express reported Thursday
that Kiran Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, had inflated travel
bills when invited by NGOs and other institutions for seminars or
The newspaper claimed to be in possession of copies of bills,
invoices and cheques, which show that Bedi, who is entitled to a
rebate on Air India tickets as a gallantry award winner, paid
discounted fares but charged her host institutions the full fare.
Defending herself, Bedi has said the organisations that invited
her "voluntarily" paid her for business class tickets but she
travelled economy and the money saved went to her NGO India Vision
The clouds of controversy around Team Anna have been darkening.
Two members of the 26 member core committee - Magsaysay award
winner Rajendra Singh and Gandhian activist P.V. Rajagopal - had
resigned from the IAC earlier this week to protest the
politicisation of the movement by Kejriwal. Rajendra Singh also
described him as "autocratic".
(George Joseph can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)