Hazare’s image was exploited to collect funds: Digvijaya

Hyderabad, Dec 13: Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Friday reiterated that some vested interests exploited activist Anna Hazare’s clean image to collect funds and misused them.

He told reporters that what he had been saying is now proving to be correct. He was referring to Friday’s incident at Maharashtra’s Ralegan Siddhi where Hazare angrily asked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai to leave his hunger strike camp.

“The way Anna removed Aam Adami Party representative Gopal Rai, the main reason is the misuse of the money collected,” said the Congress leader.

“I want to remind you that I have been saying from beginning that he (Hazare) is simple and honest man and some vested interests exploiting his popularity and image. What I said is proving right now,” he said.

“You may have also seen the sting operation in which Hazare said people collected lot of money and they are misusing the money for purposes for which the money was not collected,” he added.

Hazare, who is on fast for last four days demanding anti-corruption Lokpal Bill, asked Gopal Rai to leave the gathering after the latter got into an argument with former army chief, General V. K. Singh for questioning AAP’s funding.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal had deputed his aide Rai to show his party’s solidarity with Hazare.

Kejriwal was a close follower of Hazare when the latter launched the movement for Lokpal Bill two years ago. He later parted ways to float AAP. The party made an impressive debut by bagging 28 seats in 70-member Delhi assembly.

Asked about the results of assembly elections in four states, Digvijaya Singh did not agree that BJP swept the polls because it declared its prime ministerial candidate and Congress suffered defeat as it did not announce its candidate.

“National issues don’t impact state elections. It is wrong to say that PM candidate led to victory or defeat. State issues are different,” he said.