Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare on Friday slammed Aam Aadmi Party’s Gopal Rai while asking him to stay away from his fasting site after he indulged in a spat with former Army Chief Gen VK Singh.
Anna’s indefinite hunger strike pressing for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament entered the fourth today.
On the backdrop of the ugly war of words between VK Singh and Gopal Rai, Anna said, “There were some AAP leaders who said my movement became big because of them, but the country knows it all that who made whom.”
Anna even asked Rai to leave the venue and asked, “Why did AAP member Gopal Rai sit here and speak out of turn?”
Stressing that still there is no space for politics in his movement, Anna added, “I have no conflict with anyone but they (AAP’s Gopal Rai) should not have sat on my stage. There is no space for politics in my movement.”
“Not everybody is bad in politics, but I told them (AAP) not to share the stage with me,” Anna added.
Replying to a question that whether he will continue his anti-corruption stir after Arvind Kejriwal and others left his movement, Anna said, “I will continue to fight against corruption even if I am alone.”
The 76-year-old anti-corruption crusader has said that he will not break his fast till the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed in Parliament.
Hazare is fasting near the Yadavbaba temple at Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra`s Ahmednagar district, under the banner of `Jantantra Morcha`.
Meanwhile, supporters of Hazare thronged the village from places like Pune and Aurangabad today.
The public snub by Hazare came when Gopal Rai, interrupted Singh`s speech.
Reacting to the snub, the AAP called back Rai from the fast site and he left Ralegan Siddhi promptly. He said he was complying with the orders of Hazare, who was like a father figure to him, and he would continue his fast in his home in Delhi.
It all began with the former Army Chief making an apparent attack on Arvind Kejriwal and AAP. "We should not split and form different groups in our fight against corruption for personal gains," he said.
Anna Hazare and the leaders of AAP including Kejriwal were together in the anti-corruption movement and campaign for a Jan Lokpal Bill for more than a year till AAP was formed a year ago.
Rai, deputed by AAP to be at the fast site till end of the protest, interjected to question Singh and told him to discuss Jan Lokpal. He asked Singh why he was raising other matters.
While playing down the spat, taking to the media, Anna said, “Gopal Rai interrupted during VK Singh’s speech. No one should interrupt when someone is talking. He made a mistake and I corrected him, that’s all. I do not want to blame anybody.”
According to reports, Singh, who was sharing stage with Anna Hazare, said, "We shouldn`t split and form different groups in our fight against corruption. We can`t win the battle against corruption by remaining divided. There are some who think they are even bigger than Anna (in a veiled reference to Arvind Kejiwal)."
Hearing this, the AAP leader raised objections to Singh`s remarks and interrupted his speech.