Former wants to form new movement, says there must be no fight over money

Notwithstanding the split over their anti-corruption movement turning political, social activist Anna Hazare has decided not to accept Arvind Kejriwal’s offer to return the money collected during the erstwhile Team Anna’s anti-corruption agitations.

During a meeting here soon after the group split, Mr. Hazare was urged by volunteers that he should ask the Kejriwal-led Public Cause Research Foundation to return the money, but the activist told them that he had already refused to take it.

Sources, who attended the meeting, claimed that Mr. Hazare told the meeting that Mr. Kejriwal offered to return the money but the veteran activist asked him to keep it.

Volunteers were of the view that they would need money to organise the movement, but Mr. Hazare felt that they had to build a new movement and the issue of money should not be a point of dispute, the sources said.

The discussion on the issue came up at a meeting, which was also attended by the former IPS officer, Kiran Bedi, held at Maharashtra Sadan the next day.

Mr. Kejriwal had offered a cheque more than once to Mr. Hazare after differences surfaced over the issue of forming a political party, the sources said.

Mr. Hazare was of the view that they should try to get a copy of the volunteers’ list, the sources said. “They can give us a copy and keep one with them. What is the harm in it?” Mr. Hazare was quoted as saying.

India Against Corruption led by Mr. Kejriwal refused to comment on the issue.

Hazare aide quits

Meanwhile, Mr. Hazare’s close aide Suresh Pathare on Saturday resigned from the anti-corruption crusader’s office citing personal reasons.

Asked whether he would join the political party that would be formed by Mr. Kejriwal, he answered in the negative. The sources claimed that villagers had reservations about Mr. Pathare and this led to his resignation.

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