Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy today denied donating funds for any political activity of activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal.
“When Mr. Kejriwal approached me in September 2012 asking for financial assistance, I declined. Hence, I have not financially supported Mr. Kejriwal’s political activities,” Mr Murthy said in a statement.
Mr Murthy's statement comes after media reports claimed that he made donations to Mr Kejriwal's Public Cause Research Foundation and funded his political campaign. Mr Kejriwal is a noted Right to Information (RTI) and anti-corruption activist, who announced that he was entering politics earlier this year.
Mr Murthy's statement clarified that he had agreed to a request from Mr. Kejriwal, in 2008, to donate money to raise awareness about the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Mr Kejriwal, he said, had sought help in 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 (the) Tatas to contribute an equal sum, which the Tata Social Welfare Trust was kind enough to agree to,” Mr Murthy said in his statement.
Mr Murthy’s statement follows a similar one from the Tata group yesterday. “The Tata Social Welfare Trust did not donate any money to Public Cause Research Foundation for any political activities," that statement had said. The Tatas, too, clarified that a request to donate funds to raise awareness for the Right to Information Act came from Mr Murthy in 2008.
Mr Kejriwal launched his political party as a spin-off from the civil society group, India Against Corruption (IAC). He first focused on the alleged corruption of businessman Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
In the last few days, Mr Kejriwal and his supporters—members of IAC—have shared documents that highlight allegedly illicit deals struck by politicians to favour their own businesses or those linked to their families. Mr Kejriwal and his as-yet-unnamed party have also levelled corruption charges against Salman Khurshid, who was law minister before a cabinet reshuffle last month, and BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.