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Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare on collision course over Lokpal Bill?

Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 06:53

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: With Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and social activist Anna Haazre having extremely different opinion over the revised Lokpal Bill tabled by the government in Parliament, the situation seems to be nearing where the `guru` and ‘shishya’ could be pitted against each other.

The tension between the two sides have been simmering for quite a long time, but now it seems it has reached a dead-end, especially after Saturday’s episode when Anna Hazare, fasting for the last five days for passage of Lokpal Bill, said he was happy with the amended legislation presented in the Rajya Sabha, while at the same time his ex-teammate Kejriwal expressed surprise on the matter and said that the anti-corruption crusader was being misled.

Kejriwal today expressed his disappointment in a series of tweets and termed the Lokpal bill tabled by the government as "Jokepal".

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal expressed surprise that how Hazare could accept the Lokpal Bill that was tabled in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

He reasoned that this Bill does not contain any of the three most important provisions that the Jan Lokpal Bill espoused by Hazare and his team contained.

"I m really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari lokpal bill? Sarkari lokpal is a "jokepal". Who is misguiding Anna?" Kejriwal tweeted.

Kejriwal, who in 2011 was with Hazare, also tweeted that "None of the 3 conditions which were agreed upon when Anna broke his fast in Aug 2011 are there in this jokepal."

"Whatever Anna may say, we will continue our fight for jan lokpal bill till our last breath," Kejriwal said.

This comes after Anna yesterday asked AAP member Gopal Rai to leave his fast venue. The social activist asked Rai to leave Ralegan Siddhi after he interrupted an address by former army chief VK Singh.

Rai, who reached here to express solidarity with Hazare who is fasting for the passage of the Lokpal Bill and was sitting in the the audience, started an argument with Singh on hearing of the "desertions".

Intervening to end the verbal duel, Hazare took the mike and said: "I had asked you (Gopal Rai) not to stay back and fast here. You can leave if you are here to create trouble."

Anna 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.

With an eye on Lok Sabha elections, the Kejriwal-led AAP, which showcased a stellar performance in the recently held Delhi elections is finding hard to abandon Anna as well as the Jan Lokpal Bill issue.

The political war over taking credit for the Lokpal Bill has also started with Congress, BJP and the new outfit political AAP hitting out at each other.

Whether Kejriwal, Anna will publicly fight it out to stake claim for the Lokpal Bill’s passage remains to be seen, but one thing is crystal clear that all is not well between the two.

First Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 01:31

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