Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fwd: Kejriwal's letter to Anna

Whichever way this goes, I'm happy for the precedent set.

Respected Anna Ji,

Last night, while returning after our election campaigning, it was brought to my notice that we received a letter from you. At first, I felt very happy, as every message from you is like a blessing to me. But after reading your letter, I must say that I felt sad and disappointed.

You have mentioned in your letter that some groups have approached you to complain against me. Many serious questions have been raised by you through your letter. I have great respect for you. I hold you in high esteem, respect you as my teacher, and regard you as a father figure. It is my responsibility to answer the questions raised by you.

Issues raised by you have already been addressed extensively in the past. You had been satisfied with the answers to those questions. I was concerned because I wonder who is spreading these false and baseless accusations and what their intentions might be. However at the end of the letter you write - "I believe that these statements will not be truthful". You continue to trust me, I am happy about that.

Your letter asks three questions. The first question is about how we can promise to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly Elections. Anna, as you know, Prashant Bhushan, myself and many other members understand the intricacies of the laws. Obviously the bills passed by the Delhi Assembly will not apply to the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament or employees of the Central Government. We have not promised any such law. You might remember that when Uttarakhand agreed to pass this bill, you yourself supported the Chief Minister Khanduri at a press conference. On 29th December we intend to pass the same bill that will apply in the Delhi State area. The Chief Minister, ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly and all officers and workers of the Delhi government would be under its purview. I hope that you will bless us with your presence on this occasion. I also believe that we can soon pass this bill in the parliament with the support of the people of India.

Your second question was if our party is using your name in our campaign fundraising and campaign related activities. I do not know who is fabricating these lies and what motives they might have. As soon as you made a public appeal that we do not use your name in our campaigning, we have respected your request. We have not used your photograph in any of our campaign materials including posters and films. We do say that in 2011 there was an Anna Movement. This is a historical fact, which no one can deny, not even you.

With respect to the "Anna Card," the Aam Aadmi Party is not involved in it in any way. You may not remember this, but this card was issued with your full knowledge and permission in February 2012. This card was worth 25 rupees and the funds raised as a result were used to send movement related SMS. We received 1,59,415 rupees through the sale of these cards in Feb-March 2012 and 7,67,115 is April-July 2012. The funds collected from the card campaign are clearly mentioned in the audit accounts of the PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation). The sale of these cards was stopped many months before the formation of the party. Further, the funds that remained unused were even refunded to the people. Hence there is no question of the Aam Aadmi Party using even a single paisa from the proceeds of the Anna Card.

Your third question was how much funds have been raised during Jan LokPal movement, and whether if we are using this fund for Delhi Elections? Anna, according to Income Tax law, we definitely cannot use the funds raised during a movement in elections. This would defy the law of Income Tax, and we would be strictly prosecuted if we ever do so.

You have also mentioned in your letter that you are unaware of the funds raised during the protests at the Ramleela Maidan and at Jantar Mantar. Anna - Of all your questions and statements, this one has hurt me the most. We have discussed this not once, but several times, both formally and informally. Multiple audits have also been done. You had sent a special team to audit our accounts who has checked everything to ensure that you are satisfied and informed about the accounts. Even after that, if you raise the same question, you can imagine how painful that would be for me, personally. Its possible that you may not remember each point from our previous conversations, discussions and audits. So I am re-iterating the key ones here.

1. 'India Against Corruption' is not a legislative organization or constitutional entity, so the entire transactions have been brought under the purview of PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation).

2. Right after the protest at Ramleela Maidan, under your guidance, IAC's core committee gathered for a meeting on 10th and 11th of September, 2011. According to the outcome of this meeting, starting from April to September, auditing of income and expenses of the social movement have been conducted. On 1st of November 2011, the results of this audit have also been posted on website, and the same report has been handed over to Income Tax department even though no one asked for it.

3. In May 2012, we have requested you to personally examine the accounts of PCRF records.You had constituted a special team comprising of your representatives Sh. Suresh Pathare, Dad Pathare & some other people. This team had audited complete PCRF accounts and found them to their satisfaction.

4. Also, besides the Income tax law that I cited previous, there is no question of the Andolan money being used. PCRF accounts (audited as mentioned above) clearly show that on April 1, 2011 (before the start of the Andolan), PCRF has Rs 54 Lakh (approx). The money that I got from the Magsaysay award was also added to this to help the Andolan. In August 2012, when the Anshann got over, there was only 14 lakh left in the PCRF account. This proves that, not only was the money raised Andolan completely spent, but PCRF ended up contributing another 40 lakh in addition to my Magasay award grant towards the Andolan.

Anna - All this happened with your knowledge, consent and direction. Whenever questions were raised on the finances of the andolan, after consultation with you, complete audit was carried out. With your blessing, this Andolan established new benchmarks of financial transparency in public life.

If, in spite of and after all this, you have questions, its my duty to answer them. We want the politics of India to be clear & transparent. Therefore, we would like to be the first ones to be audited & investigated in full public view, so that there are no questions that remain unanswered.

My proposal, if you agree is this. Let someone of the stature and credibility of Justice Santosh Hegde (or any other person who you trust) audit the accounts of IAC, PCRF and the Aam Aadmi Party. Justice Hedge would also for any complaints against us from the people as well. To carry out this investigation, whatever he needs from us will be provided to him. I want that Justice Hedge finish this investigation next week itself.

I assure you and the entire nation that if Justice Hedge's investigation reveals financial irregularities with IAC funds, or its use for AAP operations, then I will withdraw my candidacy from Delhi Assembly elections.

If no irregularities are found after investigation, it is not only my hope but the country's hope that you will come to Delhi to campaign for AAP.

Anna, like you I am always mindful that those in public life have to be extra careful of how they use the public's money. That is why, despite all the devious and malicious plotting by our opponents, there is not a stain on the record of the movement or of AAP. I sincerely believe that this investigation will settle once and for all that I have abided by your high ideals that I respect greatly.



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