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Hazare continues to spar with his former protege over misuse of name and funds

THE face- off between Anna Hazare and his former comrade Arvind Kejriwal continued on Tuesday. While Hazare alleged that his name was being misused by the m dmi Party ( P) in its election campaign without his permission, Kejriwal and his supporters maintained that Hazare had been misinformed on the issue by vested interests.

A day after Kejriwal said his party was ready for any probe into Hazare's allegation of P spending the funds collected during Jan Lokpal movement on its poll campaign, the veteran activist reiterated his doubts over misuse of his name by P. Hazare, however, said he did not " doubt Arvind's character" and that " we are not enemies". He claimed he was only worried about his name being used by P. Hazare had shot off a two- page letter to his former aide Kejriwal seeking replies on the " misuse" of his name and Jan Lokpal funds. To give his clarification, Kejriwal had called a press conference on Monday.

Anna worried

He asserted on Tuesday that if the charges of irregularities in the use of funds were proved, he would not contest the elections.

Kejriwal added that an inquiry led by a retired judge could be initiated into funds of India Against Corruption ( IAC) and P. However, Hazare said he was mainly concerned about misuse of his name in P campaigning. " The issue is not of funds.

Some delegations told me that SIM cards were issued in my name during the IAC movement, the sale of which led to collection of funds. I have no connection in this regard but if somebody files a case, then I may be made an accused. This is what I am worried about," Hazare said in his village Ralegan Siddi in Maharashtra.

At a time when the rift between the two is getting deeper, Kejriwal also alleged that Hazare's aides were not letting him talk to the 76- year old activist. " I had tried to speak to him several times, but nowadays some intermediaries are not letting me talk to Anna," Kejriwal said.

Hazare, on his part, said he was always ready to talk to his former associate. " We are not enemies... I did not know he wanted to talk to me. I am ready to talk to Arvind Kejriwal," he said.

Fight over Bill

Hazare said he has received Kejriwal's reply but not read it. He also questioned Kejriwal's claims of passing Jan Lokpal Bill at an ' open session' at Ramlila Maidan.

" They say they will pass Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill in Ramlila Maidan on December 29. Here again they are using my name. And I did not understand how they are claiming to pass a Bill in Assembly when it can be passed only in Parliament," Hazare said.

P leader Kumar Vishwas had gone to Ralegan Siddi to hand over Kejriwal's reply to Hazare. Kumar alleged that the Gandhian was being " misinformed by someone from Delhi" on his name being used by Kejriwal.

" Hazare was shown posters having his picture and those of Kejriwal and party candidates, which neither the party nor anyone connected with it have published as per Hazare's instruction. Some people with vested interest were misinforming him, because of which he wrote the letter and sought clarification from Arvind," Kumar said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 20, 2013

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