New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday continued to face sharp attack from the Congress through party general secretary Digvijaya Singh. And this even as his former mentor and associate in the fight against graft, Anna Hazare, offered a word of advice for the India Against Corruption (IAC) member asking him to take up his fight against the corrupts one by one.
A day after Digvijaya Singh described Kejriwal as a "self serving ambitious megalomaniac", he continued his attack against the activist-turned-politician posing 27 questions to him regarding his service tenure and the funding of his NGO.
Among the 27 questions were five very prominent ones:
1. Is it true that in 20 years of service, you have never been posted out of Delhi?
2. Your wife, also an IRS officer, has never served outside Delhi?
3. Did you take government permission to form your NGO?
4. Is it true that the NGO Kabir, with whom you're associated, received $3.7 lakh from Ford Foundation?
5. What is your relationship with US-based NGO Avaaz, which has been funding Civil Disobedience movements in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria?
Reacting to the pointed attack from the Congress leader on the second consecutive day, the India Against Corruption member, instead of giving answers to any of the questions, chose to refer to one of the allegations made by Digvijaya Singh on Friday.
Kejriwal dismissed the claims made by Digvijaya on Friday that the IAC member earlier wanted to join the National Advisory Council (NAC) and that he had asked the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister to refer him for the same. He said that the Congress leader was lying.
"The Congress has panicked, there is nothing in Digvijaya Singh's letter that need to be answered…I never went to Digvijaya Singh for NAC, he is lying," said Kejriwal.
This appeared to be a well thought out strategy by the Congress party. As it could not raise the issues directly, the party did it through Digvijaya Singh. And there were tough questions for Kejriwal as to how the funds for his NGO came or how his wife had long postings in the national capital, which is completely a violation of the service rules.
Amidst the war between the Congress and Kejriwal, came a word of caution for the India Against Corruption member from Ralegan Siddhi. Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who spoke directly about Kejriwal for the first time on his campaign, expressed in moderate words his displeasure with the modus operandi. He said that he did not agree with the policy of Kejriwal of taking on the corrupts at one go.
"I don't agree with Kejriwal's strategy of targeting a leader a week…take up an issue at a time and lead it to its logical conclusion," said the veteran anti-corruption crusader.
However, Kejriwal gently rebuffed his former mentor saying he had different intentions. Reacting to Anna's statement that he had opened many fronts, Kejriwal said, "We haven't opened many fronts. We tried to show the nation that all these parties are hand in glove."
Meanwhile, in another war-in-making against the government, Anna Hazare is slated to meet his new core committee members in Ralegan Siddhi starting next Wednesday.
Anna's close aide and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said the crusader had invited former Army chief General VK Singh and Justice Santosh Hegde to join them. The new core committee will meet on the same day that Arvind Kejriwal is set to announce the name of his new party.