Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday denied that the party was misusing Anna Hazare's name during the Delhi assembly poll campaign and charged that there was a conspiracy to mislead the social activist.
“Anna said yesterday (Tuesday) that some people showed him posters with his photo being used for AAP. We told Anna that the posters were not real,” said Kejriwal.
“It means fake posters were printed. There is a conspiracy to mislead Anna against us,” he said.
He also said Aam Admi Party (AAP) was not using Anna Hazare's name in its party's election campaigning.
“When I say Anna Hazare fasted for Janlokpal, it is a historical fact. People don't understand Janlokpal, so I say Anna’s Lokpal bill. I always say it is not Anna's party. Still if he (Anna Hazare) has objections, I will not use the term Anna’s Lokpal,” he told reporters.
The activist-turned-politician said AAP was being targeted by several “vested interests”.
“We have challenged all the powerful people. There are so many vested interests which are working to malign us. More may come out in next 48 to 72 hours. Manish (Sisodia), Prashant (Bhushan) all will be targetted,” Kejriwal said.
He, however, added he felt saddened by Anna's allegations.
“I have only earned honesty in my life and when my ‘guru’ questions me, I feel sad. If there is any misappropriation, I will not fight the polls,” he said.
Asked if he would talk to Anna Hazare, Kejriwal said he was not being allowed to do so.
“How do I talk to Anna, they don't give the phone to him,” Kejriwal said. Read More: People don't let me talk to Anna Hazare, says Kejriwal
Hazare, meanwhile, said he never alleged that Kejriwal is corrupt or he siphoned off money.
“If someone says Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare are fighting, it is wrong. I never said Kejriwal is corrupt,” Anna Hazare told reporters, a day after a war of word erupted between him and Kejriwal over funds collected during India Against Corruption movement. Read More: No rift between me and Kejriwal, says Anna Hazare
“I have always kept away from money. All I said was that several crore were collected in the movement but I never even took Rs 5 from it. However, I did not say Arvind Kejriwal took all the money. This is not an allegation,” he said. Read More: Not saying Kejriwal is corrupt: Hazare
Hazare had revealed that he wrote a letter to Kejriwal to clarify whether his name was being misused by the AAP during its election campaigns. Read More: Anna, Kejriwal drop letter bombs, ink flies in smear campaign
A video aired on television channels Tuesday showed Anna Hazare telling his confidants “billions of rupees were collected during the movement in my name. I did not even take Rs 5”.
“The clip that is being played is very old,” Hazare said.
He said the issue of concern for him at present was his name being misused by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“The current issue of concern is the SIM cards they sold in my name. I am not a party to it,” he said.
The activist said someone had filed a petition in a court related to the SIM cards sale.
Dismissing the public spat between social activist Anna Hazare and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal as a “guru-chela” affair, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said it was merely a “sideshow” in the greater electoral battle.
“This is a guru-chela (master-pupil) war. What does the Congress have to do with it. It is only a sideshow,” Tewari said.
Kejriwal on Wednesday released the election manifesto of his party, which promises cheap electricity and regular water supply for Delhi residents.
Kejriwal, who was supposed to release the manifesto on a previous date, had to reschedule it after Anna Hazare expressed his displeasure that his name was being used by the former to campaign for Delhi elections.
VIDEO: Anna unhappy over Kejriwal publicising his letter