Friday, June 14, 2024

Team Anna members under fresh fire


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NEW DELHI: Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were under fresh fire on Sunday over allegations of financial malfeasance and using influence for personal gains.

Former colleagues Swami Agnivesh and Rajinder Singh found fault with Kejriwal over depositing donations collected for Hazare agitation in a trust run by him from which the names of major team members were missing. Bedi, meanwhile, came under attack from former Chief Justice J S Verma for overcharging organisations by inflating her travel bills.

He said claiming money which you have not spent was “unacceptable” and “more upsetting” was the justification that she was spending it for a cause.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh also chose Bedi as a target for attack, saying these were people who were calling politicians criminals. “Politicians may be criminals but look inwards too,” he said, alleging Bedi misused quota system to get her daughter a seat in a medical college in Mizoram.

Dismissing Agnivesh’s allegations, Team Anna said the activist might be levelling such accusations “out of anger” as he was removed from the team following the surfacing of a video clip which purportedly showed him asking a person to deal strongly with Hazare.

Agnivesh, who had yesterday alleged that Kejriwal has siphoned off over Rs 80 lakh donated by people for the protest by diverting it to a trust run by him, said Hazare does not have his name in Public Cause Research Foundation run by him. “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. Coming to Kejriwal’s defence, Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said all details regarding their accounts will be put on the PCRF website by this month-end after a special audit. Bedi alleged that there was a “pattern to defame” Team Anna members and said “hang some of us if that helps”.

Maintaining that they were “transparent” in their functioning, Sisodia said, “Our accounts till March 31 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 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. ” (PTI)


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