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Updated: October 24, 2011 12:23 IST

Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi come under fresh attack

PTI
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A file photo of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal and social activist Swami Agnivesh. Former Team Anna member Swami Agnivesh has alleged that money was deposited in the trust run by Mr. Kejriwal from which the names of major team members were missing.
The Hindu A file photo of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal and social activist Swami Agnivesh. Former Team Anna member Swami Agnivesh has alleged that money was deposited in the trust run by Mr. Kejriwal from which the names of major team members were missing.

Questions were raised on Sunday about the use of funds donated by the public to Team Anna with Swami Agnivesh alleging that money was deposited in the trust run by Arvind Kejriwal from which the names of major team members were missing, a claim dismissed as made “out of anger”.

Besides Team Anna detractor Swami Agnivesh, another former member ‘Waterman’ Rajinder Singh also raised the issue urging Mr. Kejriwal to come clean on the controversy regarding donations to Anna Hazare movement, saying he could not see transparency in the matter as Team Anna preaches.

Team Anna dismissed the allegations, saying Swami Agnivesh might be levelling such accusations “out of anger”. Swami Agnivesh was removed from the Team following the surfacing of a video clip which purportedly showed him asking a person to deal strongly with Mr. Hazare.

They said all details regarding their accounts will be put on the website of Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), by this month-end after a special audit. Activist Kiran Bedi, who is facing allegations of overcharging institutions on travel bills, alleged that there was a “pattern to defame” Team Anna members and said “hang some of us if that helps”.

Swami Agnivesh, who had on Saturday alleged that Mr. Kejriwal has siphoned off over Rs. 80 lakh donated by people for Mr. Hazare’s agitation by diverting it to a trust run by him, said Mr. Hazare does not have his name in the PCRF run by Mr. Kejriwal.

“Even Justice Santosh Hegde, who has a clean image does not have his name in the trust. So, the main members of the team were not part of the Trust and the old trust where Kejriwal and his members were part... the money was deposited in their name,” he alleged.

“I am not blaming Kejriwal that he is deliberately doing so and does not want transparency. I am also not saying there is some fraud and corruption in accounts,” Mr. Angivesh said, insisting that his protest is only for transparency.

Claiming that Mr. Hazare was keen to have a new trust and include new members, Swami Agnivesh said he wanted to complete the audit by October 15 and had asked Mr. Kejriwal to put on the website the details of donations received by them in the core committee meeting.

Maintaining that his protest in only for transparency, he said, “I have said this (to give details of accounts) because if they will do it as soon as possible, there won’t be any doubt and question. If they will delay, people would question why the accounts are not given“.

“India Against Corruption campaign is about transparency. When we are fighting against corruption, then transparency is main and important part of it, accountability is second part of it,” he said.

“In the middle there were questions raised on Indian Vision Foundation and on Kiran Bedi’s flight fare controversy and all then it has become more important to check the accounts of old trusts,” he said.

Swami Angivesh had on Saturday alleged that all donations which were made for the India Against Corruption (IAC) were diverted to PCRF run by Mr. Kejriwal and that the latter was delaying the opening of a bank account in the name of IAC.

Maintaining that they were “transparent” in their functioning, Mr. Kejriwal’s associate and Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said, “Our accounts are already on the website. We have conducted a special audit for the last six months and by the month end we are putting the details on the website.”

On Swami Agnivesh, he said, “We have no animosity with Swami Agnivesh. He could have said something out of anger. It’s not in our custom to rebut against anything that an elderly says.

He is a good person and we all respect him.”

He said Mr. Hazare was aware that donations were being deposited in the Foundation account and nothing was hid from him.

Reacting to the developments, Ms. Bedi said, “There is obviously a pattern to defame every member of Team Anna. It has been systematic from day one.”

“Team Anna is paying a personal cost for raising national concerns on rampant corruption and voter awareness to ensure the passing of the bill in Parliament,” she said.

She said this only underscores the need to stay focussed on the Winter Session of Parliament and ensure that the Jan Lokpal Bill is enacted.

Ms. Bedi said the Hazare movement was of millions and there was a need for staying united. “After that hang some of us if that helps. If my saving for poor by means I followed is wrong I be punished. Same Lokpal can punish me. Distraction is being manipulated,” she said.

Mr. Singh, who quit Team Anna recently following differences, urged Team Anna to come clean on the controversy, saying he could not see transparency in the matter as Team Anna preaches.

He alleged that Team Anna could have erred in the matter as they did in plunging into “party politics. “They preach transparency but in this case, we cannot see any transparency. They should come clean on this. We are not super humans and we all make mistakes. But the moment you realise it, one should correct it and come out clean.”

“There are doubts about the Hazare movement. A lot of time has been lost before getting things in order. One should come clean as fast as one can because government may use pressure to curb the movement,” Mr. Singh said, adding accounts were not discussed in the Core Committee meetings.

At the same time he said, “They might have erred in this matter like the way they plunged into party politics. All movements are political but taking active part in party politics is a different thing.”

Asked whether the Hazare movement has lost its way, Mr. Singh said it started with one particular purpose but now it seems, it has other purposes.

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We as the citizen of India should strive to put an end to the corruption. This is the first greatest movement I have seen in India in my life time so far. Government is doing all it can to divide the team Anna and damaging the core values of its members. But team Anna is right in insisting to bring the Jan Lokpal and use the same to put them behind bars if found guilty.
It is difficult to find people who have not done even a small mistake. We all have ( at least most of us) at one point in our life would have cheated the government or someone. So does that mean we lost our right to oppose the corruption. People like Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi know by heart corruption and any form of cheating is bad. That is the reason they are offering to go to Jail if found guilty. I am not saying that they have committed/accepted their crime. I am just saying that they are such a good people, they are even ready to go to jail if they are found guilty. They want to set an example that law is equal to all.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Oct 28, 2011 at 09:48 IST

Are Team Anna members are qualified to lead us? Think about our own lives. Most of us are clean individuals, however we have commited some errors in our lives too. Some have paid bribes to traffic police, some have claimed tax exemptions on LTA without actual travel, some have not decleared portion of interest income on tax filings. We all have commited one error or the other. Does it mean that we do not have right to question scams like CWG games, Yedurappa's mining scam, 2G scam, Adarsha society scam? Now if we find one or two errors on the part of team Anna members, should we disqualify them from leading us? If yes, who else will qualify to lead us in our fight against corruption? People also found faults in the lives of lord Rama and other saints from other relegions.
We all know - Who is afread of Anna Hazare movement?. These are the politicians and influential folks who thrive on curruption. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO QUIT. THIS IS THE TIME TO UNITE.

from:  Hyd
Posted on: Oct 27, 2011 at 16:37 IST

What Kiran Bedi did was wrong and amounts to cheating. Even if one
takes her statement that what she did was to save money for her
Foundation and its activities, what about the other NGOs who paid her
more than she spent and who could have used the extra money paid to
her to further their own development and welfare activities. And,
there is no standard definition of corruption as it needs to be
defined differently in different context. It is important to define
Bedi's corruption in the context of what she did before justifying her
in a larger context.

from:  Samuel Thangaraj
Posted on: Oct 27, 2011 at 11:45 IST

The movement for Jan LokPal is very imp. What Kiran bedi has done is immoral not illegal. On a scale of 1 to 10, her act will fall in grade 1 or 2 offence. Grade 10 being most corrupt act. Her daughter's admission to Lady HMC would also fall in same category. Had it been illegal, her daughter's admission would have been cancelled. My point is look whom Jan Lokpal will be targeting. They are most corrupt persons occupying most powerful positions in India. Why look for a Grade 1 or 2 offence when grade 9 or 10 offenders are roaming free. It will be an insult to awareness of common/average reader if I start naming some of Grade 9 or 10 offender. Still for some of my friends who are dead against Team Anna, tell me who is in jail for Adarsh scam. You make buildings in name of Kargil widows and don't allot a single flat to kargil widow.
I will again say Jan Lokpal bill is very imp for Grade 9 or 10 offenders. They never ever get punished in India. JLP will do that.

from:  Anurag Gupta
Posted on: Oct 25, 2011 at 10:31 IST

what i feel here is intent,what is the intent? for me someone does a wrong thing for right cause or with a good intent, then the thing cant be termed as wrong.eg. we dont allege lord rama of any wrong doing when he killed bali.someone may question his method but just because his intent was right we worship him.though i am not trying to compare team anna with rama;but what i beleive is we should support them for the cause of jan lokpal bill.and if they are corrupt as is being tried to showcased by people,then let the jan lokpal investigate.united we stand.this is important and has to be understood by even senior people like swami agnivesh and mr rajendra singh also.

from:  sameer
Posted on: Oct 25, 2011 at 03:27 IST

The trio of Prashant,Arvind and Kiran have better days and they would love to return to the glory days at the Ram Lila Grounds. That India has deep-routed corruption, which must be cleansed is obvious and hence their roles as "Team Anna" in Hazare's campaign was the easy part. Now, their loose talk and double standards is being scrutinized and the gloves are off! Kiran Bedi found it easy to perform her famous ghunghat act at the Maidan but such roles are not on offer. It has always been a huge question on who and how these folks became so powerful! The media must take the blame for this. Legitimacy must be earned and none of the 'Team Anna" have done this. Infact,campaigning for non-congress candidates in Hissar shows that this team is not fit to champion an anti-corruption crusade any more

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Oct 25, 2011 at 02:00 IST

Now we know why team Anna in against having NGO's under the Lokpal. They say that IAC did not have an account hence the money was put in Kejriwal's NGO A/c. Even if we accept this arguement what I fail to understand is they started collecting donations for IAC in the beginning of April and now it is the end of October and they could not open an IAC A/c in the past seven months.
Also the team is now saying on TV they are auditing their accounts and it will take some time!!! I am sure they need that time to re-fudge the accounts as the matter is now in the open.

from:  Joseph
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 23:39 IST

I for do not see any merit to Congress LEADER Digvijay Singh comments today – he is try to equate this issue with corruption. If our leader’s thinking process is such how can we expect any progress in the fight against corruption in India?

As far as Ms. Bedi saving money for her NGO, it should be commended and the politicians should try to emulate her and save the union some money.

from:  Thiru Ramanathan
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 23:05 IST

Come on! NGOs exist on donations; and who checks them? besides they are taking from the donors (good honest people) and giving to the poor (quote from Ms Bedi); man i time it is understood that Haji Mastaan / varadarajan (original dons) also did the same; RobinHood mentality; Gold has standards (99.999% purity) why not honesty; Can there be really 99.999 % honesty in a person (sic)?

from:  RGKrishnan
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 17:31 IST

Corruption starts from self and ends from self.

from:  Uday Bhan
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 17:20 IST

I think it is a concerted attack by the Government and its 'agents' such as Agnivesh to unleash smear campaign. It is impossible for those who lead an anti-corruption crusade to be angels. Has anyone of us not given bribe even once in your lifetime? If you except that the people fighting corruption in the country not do a single wrong doing, then we must have angels from heaven. Lets be realistic.

from:  Vimal
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 16:03 IST

Such tirade against Team Anna was completely expected. Any one who raises his voice against the system would meet the same fate. All the people who are criticizing here are either paid or should understand that Team Anna was nothing but a face of the people. The basic message still remains the same "IMPLEMENT THE JAN LOKPAL BILL".If people in Team Anna are guilty, let Lokpal also investigate them and recover the money. People do not have oversight of the cause. Have a law to punish the culprits.

from:  Mandeep
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 15:41 IST

How can one say that Kiran Bedi is honest and trustworthy? If at all, the NGO's fund has to be raised then there are many ways, even the people or the same organization could have been approached for money. Pls correct me if I am wrong, how the government is trying to defame her when it has been her personal decision to inflate the bills. This is not an allegation levied on her, it is an unethical act she has done and accepted. I feel IAC campaign itself is corrupted in base. May be its time for everyone of us to get down and work in IAC instead of just writing comments here and trust the shameless.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 14:58 IST

It is too early to disown Bedi and Kejriwal,for some mudslinging by this swami and ex team anna members, whose intentions are really suspect.This so called Swami had taken a u turn when he was caught red handed on camera talking to his masters. As the cause undertaken by team Anna is in the interest of the nation and against the corrupt politicians ,this could be a propaganda masterminded by the very persons who are against a strong LOKPAL.The UPA govt which is in the docks,following massive corruption charges have setup task forces to malign the Anna movements and its core members and I dont see either Kiran or Kejriwal can extract any personal gains through this movement,though the accounts need to be audited and if irregularities found should be punished.But this kind of propaganda against the movement is surely deplorable

from:  Anand Ravindran
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 14:44 IST

Anna and KB have made it clear that the team has no political ambitions nor would they join the Lokpal. Attacking the team, is therefore irrelevant since the team has no vested interest in the Lokpal. Shekhar Gupta's `exposures' are intended to weaken the movement. He may be factually correct in his accusations but that does not make him right or even relevant.We know that most people are moral hypocrites and will cheat if they think they can get away with it. That does not disqualify them from seeking a strong Lokpal which will make corruption difficult. The desire for a strong Lokpal must be understood as a desire for creating an environment which makes it difficult to be corrupt. There is nothing wrong if a corrupt person is striving to create such an environment. In fact, this should be recognised and appreciated as the innate goodness in man seeking perfection while being imperfect.

from:  Javeed
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 13:41 IST

Why Ms. Bedi is getting heart now, she is also staying in glass house, India is baised and not reporting issues are the "in Mizoram she crossed the line – it were the people of the state who took to the streets in anger. The widespread protests in 1992 were over her daughter’s admission to Delh’s Lady Hardinge College for an MBBS course through the Mizoram quota"

from:  ajay
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 13:01 IST

We cannot allow divisions in a historic movement.Any divisions in Anna
team means weak Indian & global lobby of 99 % people.The problem is
very simple.Quality Control and Daily Performance Reports are
inseparable. Daily Performance report gives the audit opportunity from
team to self.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 12:49 IST

NGOs are used to working with little oversight. And such practices
hurt them when they move into a larger public arena. I don't think
Kejriwal is dishonest, nor is Bedi I suppose. Yet, what Bedi did in
"saving" money for her NGO by submitting false bills is not an honest
thing to do. Kejriwal also should have separate accounts for IAC.
These are NGO practices that do not pass muster in a 'transparent' and
honest public system that they are fighting for. So, rather than
seeing this as an 'attack', the activists should see it as being
called upon to practice the same transparency and accountability that
they are fighting for. It is a good lesson for all NGOs and these
lessons should be taken into heart.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 10:48 IST

Who are these so called crusaders against corruption ? Are they clean
themselves ? Their acts certainly do not merit a certificate of honesty
and high integrity.I feel let down by Bedi and Kejriwal. Shame on them.

from:  Shishir Nagvekar
Posted on: Oct 24, 2011 at 10:48 IST
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