M A I N   N E W S

Anna warns of another fast 
Writes to PM to ensure Jan Lokpal Bill passed in winter session
Vibha Sharma/TNS

New Delhi, November 1
Social activist Anna Hazare shot off another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, warning of a fresh hunger strike if the government failed to pass an effective Jan Lokpal Bill in the winter session of Parliament.

“I will begin my hunger strike agitation on the last day of the session if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the House,” Anna cautioned.

During the fast, Hazare said his team would travel to various states to spread awareness about the necessity of a strong Lokpal Bill.

Hazare, however, stated that in the proposed campaign in five election-bound states early next year, Team Anna will not canvas against Congress unlike it did in Hisar bypolls last month and would rather appeal to people not to vote for "corrupt, goonda and looters".

Congress leaders reacted to the ultimatum saying that they failed to understand the “disquiet”, especially when the government was already committed to bringing a strong Lokpal bill to fight corruption.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh continued with his tirade against Team Anna, making fun of the activist and his aides over their decision to return Rs 40 lakh said to be donated by unknown sources during the Ramlila Maidan fast. Digvijay’s latest tweet said: “Super Team Anna to do an impossible Act. Return Rs 40 lakh to unknown donors. Only the Super Heroes can collect from unknown and return them.”

“For Anna's Super Team. Na khata na bahi. Jo Kejriwal kahe woh sahi” Digvijay mocked, to which Kejriwal retorted that the Congress and BJP should also reveal the names of their donors.

Earlier this week, Anna rubbished allegations of any covert financial collection during his 12-day fast at Ramlila Maidan. Reading a statement issued by Anna after a meeting at Ralegan Siddhi, Kejriwal said: “People are being misled about the funds collected and the expenses of the agitation... Of the funds we got, Rs 40 lakh came from unknown sources, through a bank. We have directed that it be returned,”

Team Anna collected Rs 2.94 crore in donations in the past six months. Out of this amount, about Rs 1.14 crore were collected through Ramlila Maidan donations.

According to Team Anna, the highest donation was Rs 25 lakh and over 400 people donated more than Rs 10,000.

Out of the Rs 2.94 crore collected, they have decided to return Rs 42.55 lakh to donors who "did not provide their complete details and their sources of funding", leaving Rs 2.51 crore with them. Of Rs 2.51 crore, Team Anna spent Rs 1.5 crore in the past six months with Rs 52.27 lakh being spent on public meeting expenses, mainly for Ramlila Maidan agitation.

Another Rs 9.83 lakh was spent on travel, while Rs 2.68 lakh was spent on communication expenses. For public awareness expenses an amount of Rs 45.5 lakh was spent while the printing charges were Rs 26.55 lakh. It spent Rs 9,711 under the RTI and paid Rs 9.29 lakh as salary and stipend to the staff of the PCRF besides a lowly Rs 36 as interest on government dues. 

I don't understand this disquiet when we have continuously said that we are committed to a strong Lokpal Bill to fight against corruption.— Salman Khursheed  Law Minister






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