For all their demands for greater transparency in public life, this is one thing that Team Anna does not want to divulge — the identity of a donor who is reported to have pledged about Rs 1 lakh per month to the team for the next one year.
In fact, the anonymous benefactor’s identity has not been revealed even to members of the new Team Anna. They have apparently only been told that he is an NRI who is a chartered accountant by profession.
“He is a Gandhian who is involved in many genuine social causes across the country. He has pledged to give us the rent — we are paying over Rs 50,000 per month for our Sarvodaya Enclave office at present — and some other establishment costs like water and power bills for the next one year,” Kiran Bedi said.
“The payment is by cheque... I can assure you that this is not stashed money, otherwise I would not have taken responsibility for it. He does not want his name revealed because this is selfless service he is doing... Anna Hazare knows his identity,” Bedi said.
While Bedi refused to specify the monthly commitment, sources in the team said they have received a cheque for Rs 6 lakh for the next six months, which amounts to Rs 1 lakh per month.
Asked if the person is an NRI, she said: “Suffice it to say that he has a home here and also abroad.”
In a recent blog post, Hazare had accused political parties of money laundering. “Parties make laws that suit them, hence the norm that donations below Rs 20,000 would not need to be accounted for. They take crores of donations from industrialists in packets of Rs 20,000 in bogus names and that is how black money laundering begins,” he had said.