'Will return Rs 40 lakh received for Anna's movement'

Say civil society group sources, share details of how funds have been spent in anti-corruption campaign

Not only did lakhs of people come forward to physically participate in the Anna movement, thousands among them contributed financially by donating huge sums amounting to about Rs 3 crore. These funds are now in controversy with Congress leaders and people in general raising questions on the manner of their acquisition and the sources. According to figures provided to MiD DAY by civil society group members, the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption (IAC) movement received Rs 2.94 crore from about 27,500 people.

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Big numbers
More than 25,000 people donated large sums at the Ramlila Maidan, when Anna was on his fast between August 16 and August 28. "Out of the Rs 2.94 crore donation, Rs 1.16 cr was collected at Ramlila Maidan only. About 400 people donated more than Rs 10,000 each and 23,138 people contributed less than Rs 1000 each," said a source at Public Cause Research Foundation, the organisation which was receiving donation for the anti-corruption movement, requesting anonymity.

One Sitaram Jindal of Jindal Aluminium Ltd donated Rs 25 lakh, largest contribution by a single individual so far. Team member Shanti Bhushan has contributed Rs 4 lakh himself. Interestingly, Team Anna has decided to return about Rs 42.5 lakh as the amount was transferred electronically or sent through post by various anonymous donors.

Sources also said that Team Anna has spent about Rs 1.57 crore in the period between April 1 and September 30. "We have stopped taking any donations after September 2011 as we still have about Rs 94 lakh balance in our bank account," said the source and added that they will make the details of the income and expenditure public on their web site on November 1.

To make the movement a success, Team Anna sent about 30 crore SMSes which cost about Rs 45 lakh under this head. Rs 52 lakh were required as public meeting expenses at various places including Jantar Mantar, Ramlila Maidan and Rajghat. 26 lakh rupees were spent as printing charges, Rs 9.83 lakh for travelling and Rs 2.68 lakh for communication.

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