Infosys’ Narayana Murthy admits funding Kejriwal
Vol 3 | Issue 44
While denying that he had made any donation to anti-corruption activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal’s Public Cause Research Foundation, Infosys mentor N R Narayana Murthy admitted that he had donated money to the former “to raise awareness about the Right To Information (RTI).”
Murthy issued a statement to clarify his position in the wake of reports in a section of the media that corporate bigwigs were supporting Kejriwal’s “guerilla war on politicians.”
N R Narayana Murthy (Photo: Saggere Radhakrishna)
By his own admission, Murthy appears to have donated over Rs.1 crore to Kejriwal in a span of 4 years.
Murthy said in a statement: “Arvind Kejriwal approached me in 2008 to donate money to raise awareness about the Right To Information (RTI) act by instituting awards to recognize the contribution of public information officers, public information commissioners, NGOs and citizens.
“I agreed to give Rs. 25 lakhs a year for five years and requested Tatas to contribute an equal sum which the Tata Social Welfare Trust was kind enough to agree."
"I sent Rs 25 lakh for 2008 and 2009 and Rs 37 lakh for 2010 and Rs 25 lakh for 2011," he said.
According to him, he had given an additional fund of Rs.12 lakh in 2010 for honouring the families of RTI activists who had been murdered.
Murthy also revealed that Kejriwal had used the funds allocated in 2011 “towards the secretarial expenses of the Jan Lokpal Bill.”
He said Kejriwal had written to him “in May 2011 that the secretariat of the Foundation was busy in drafting a Jan Lokpal Bill and that they would not be able to have the awards in 2011.
“He also asked me whether it was OK to use this amount of Rs. 25 lakhs towards the secretarial expenses of the Jan Lokpal Bill effort. As one who believed that the country needed a moderate but effective Lokpal Bill, I agreed to his request."
Murthy, however, added that when Kejriwal approached him in September 2012 for financial assistance, he declined.
“Hence, I have not financially supported Mr. Kejriwal's political activities," he stated. – TWL Bureau