As Hazare raised questions about the funds but made it clear that he didn't doubt Kejriwal's integrity, the activist-turned-AAP founder-leader retorted that he would not contest elections if it was proved that he had used money given by people during the IAC campaign for his party. (Agencies)
"I have never said that Arvind is corrupt or collecting money in my name," Hazare told the media in his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra amid charges and counter-charges by both sides.
"I had some doubts, so I wrote to him. The letter was a personal communication and it was he (Kejriwal) who made it public. We are not enemies. I did not know he wanted to talk to me. I am ready to talk to Arvind Kejriwal," he said.
"I was told that SIM cards were issued in my name during the IAC movement, the sale of which led to collection of funds," he said, referring to 2011 when Hazare fasted for 12 days at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, triggering mass protests in solidarity.
“Since I felt my name was being misused, so I wrote the letter seeking clarification. I have no interest in the money, just my name should not be misused."
The activist said someone had filed a petition in a court related to the SIM cards.
In New Delhi, Kejriwal insisted that the funds collected during the IAC movement against corruption were not used for AAP's election campaign, and he had repeatedly stated this to Hazare.
"Audit has been conducted on the funds received during the IAC movement several times. I am open to any investigation or scrutiny, but this should now happen in front of the public," said the Aam Admi Party founder.
"Anna was aware of the way in which the funds were used. We have told him many times.
"If I am found guilty of misusing the (IAC) funds, then I won't contest elections," added Kejriwal, who is pitted against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi assembly constituency.
The AAP leader spoke after Hazare raised doubts about the money collected from the sale of SIM cards.
Hazare also said late in the evening that he would not campaign for any party and questioned Kejriwal's assertion that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be passed at Ramlila Maidan on December 29 if AAP won the Delhi election.
Hazare pointed out that such bills can be passed only in parliament. “Here again they are using my name."
Hazare said he was ready to talk to Kejriwal. “I have told him that I am ready to talk. I did not know that he wanted to talk. If he wishes so, I am ready to talk."
Kejriwal said he had tried to speak to Hazare several times but was not allowed to by “intermediaries”.
Hazare and Kejriwal fell out in 2012. While Kejriwal was keen to launch a political party after the anti-corruption campaign generated a huge response, Hazare was against it.
The Magsaysay award winner launched the AAP, and in a very short time was able to carve a niche for it, making the Delhi election a triangular fight for the first time.
A man claiming to be an Anna supporter Monday threw black ink at Kejriwal and other AAP leaders during a press conference.
As Hazare raised questions about the funds but made it clear that he didn't doubt Kejriwal's integrity, the activist-turned-AAP founder-leader retorted that he would not contest elections if it was proved that he had used money given by people during the IAC campaign for his party.