Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday tweeted that an old villager had donated Rs 15,000 to his campaign, after a leading daily targeted his campaign against politicians and big business houses for being "bankrolled by corporate bigwigs".
India Against Corruption (IAC) leader Kejriwal, whose weekly exposes on politicians, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nitin Gadkari, have put everyone on tenterhooks to see who he will name next, draws his "sustenance from... a combination of businessmen and bankers", writes the Mail Today.
"The edifice of Arvind Kejriwal's guerilla war on politicians and big business has been bankrolled by corporate bigwigs who donated to his Public Cause Research Foundation," the daily writes.
"India Against Corruption, which has unfurled the banner of revolt against all-pervasive corruption, actually draws its lineage from Public Cause Research Foundation. And if you were wondering where the movement got sustenance from, strangely it came from a combination of businessmen and bankers."
The daily said it "repeatedly tried to contact Arvind Kejriwal and his India Against Corruption colleague Prashant Bhushan through phone and SMS but they were unavailable."
Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal's close associate and Public Cause Research Foundation trustee, told the daily, "Some of the corporate leaders like Narayana Murthy have actively supported us. He had some good ideas and took active interest besides his financial contribution and was also a jury member on our RTI awards."
The balance sheet of Public Cause Research Foundation's "accessed by Mail Today shows Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Co. got Rs 96.5 lakh from pre-eminent names in the world of business and finance. For starters, Bangalore-based infotech czar and one of the Infosys founders NR Narayana Murthy made a personal contribution of Rs 12 lakh in 2010-11."
Among others, stock broking firm Enam Securities gave a contribution of Rs 2 lakh while Tata Social Welfare Trust came forward with a cheque of Rs 25 lakh."
Public Cause Research Foundation, which received these donations, is a Delhi-based NGO that was founded on December 19, 2006, by Kejriwal, his IAC associate Manish Sisodia and TV producer and writer Abhinandan Sekhri, the daily says.
Kejriwal appeared to ignore the Mail Today's report in his tweets on Sunday, only posting: "A v old man has come from village Rustampur, Baghpat. He has brought Rs 15000 donation. Poor villagers contributed small amounts. Am touched."
"More than the amount, it is their blessings which is priceless. Blessings and participation of millions will surely change the country."
"Some people say this movement is urban. Veer singh, this old man from rustampur village proves it wrong."