Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has said he is ‘deeply hurt’ by the controversy surrounding a December 2012 CD where Anna Hazare indicates a misappropriation of funds, even as Hazare downplayed the saga on Wednesday.
“Since this has come from Anna, I am deeply hurt. I left my Indian Revenue Service job to earn honesty. I could have earned crores of rupees. I am making myself available to a judicial probe. If found guilty of corruption, I will not contest the Delhi elections,” Kejriwal told reporters in Delhi.
In the CD, Hazare is shown to be saying, “Millions of rupees were collected in my name but I didn’t take a single rupee.”
AAP held an emergency meeting In Delhi on Wednesday morning. Calling it a conspiracy of the Congress and BJP, AAP said the two rival parties will target party leaders like Manish Sisodia and Prashant Bhushan ‘in a few days’. “When you challenge the political establishment, such mudslinging is bound to happen,” said senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav.
Meanwhile, calling the video clip ‘very old’, Hazare said the controversy was an attempt to malign Kejriwal and him. “I have never said Arvind siphoned money from the anti-corruption agitation,” Hazare told the media at Ralegan Siddhi.
“My main concern is the use of my name in election campaign and the floating of sim-cards in my name” Hazare said. Saying he has always kept himself away from money though crores of rupees were collected during the agitation, Hazare said, “ I have certain doubts which I want to get clarified.” There was no fight between Kejriwal and him, Hazare said.
Hazare hasn’t disputed either the contents of the video clip or its authenticity, hinting some doubts remain on the raising and use of funds during the anti-corruption legislation, Hazare aides said.
The Congress and the BJP have targeted AAP over the CD controversy with Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh saying, “This proves that money made from people during the movement has been used by AAP. An innocent man like Hazare is being duped by them.”