Bhushan integral part of Team Anna: Kejriwal

Despite social worker Anna Hazare’s unwillingness to back lawyer Prashant Bhushan on his controversial Kashmir remarks, Team Anna on Friday said that there is no drift among the members and they stand united.

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2011, 16:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Amidst controversy over Anna Hazare’s supposed unwillingness to back Prashant Bhushan on his controversial Kashmir remarks, a key member of Team Anna, Arving Kejriwal on Friday said that the senior lawyer is an integral part of the team.

Speaking to reporters, the noted RTI activist said, “There is no question of removing Prashant Bhushan from Anna Hazare’s team for airing his personal views on the Kashmir issue. We stand united come what may.”

Kejriwal also said that Anna Hazare has been misinterpreted by the media when he distanced himself from Prashant Bhushan’s Kashmir remarks saying that it was his personal opinion and the same was not endorsed by his Team.

Clarifying their stance, Kejriwal said, “Prashant Bhushan is an integral part of our team. Anna never said that we will remove him. The team is decided by the core committee and they have agreed that Bhushan is an inseparable team member.”

He further elaborated, “Kashmir is a complex problem and it must be solved by peaceful means within the four walls of the constitution.”

Regarding the constitutional status being given to the Lokpal, Kejriwal said, “We welcome Lokpal’s constitutional status but the government is misleading people the nation that it will give Lokpal more teeth. Government must bring a strong Lokpal Bill.

Earlier today, Arvind Kejriwal arrived in Ralegaon Siddhi to hold discussions with Anna Hazare over the recent attack on his supporters and noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

Kejriwal is highly upset over the manner in which key Team Anna members are being targeted and has blamed the police machinery of remaining a silent onlooker in such cases.

Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said that the growing attacks on Anna’s supporters raise many questions. He stated that these incidents point to a foul play by the police as they have failed to prevent these unfortunate incidents.

“Were there some directions from the top?" he was quoted as saying. "By beating our men they are not helping the nation," he added.

“We expect more such attacks in the near future,” he added.

Seemingly unhappy over the delay in arresting the attackers of Bhushan, Kejriwal said, “Police said that the main accused, Tejinder Singh Bagga is untraceable but our volunteers talked to him over phone for two hours. He had no idea about the issue. All this raises suspicion over the whole incident.”

Team Anna members have voiced their concerns for bringing a special new law with tougher penalty to deal with sponsored violence in view of attacks on Prashant Bhushan and the Gandhian’s supporters in police presence.

Five supporters of Anna Hazare were on Thursday attacked by some workers of the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena outside the Patiala House court here.

The incident took place a day after Anna Hazare’s close associate and lawyer Prashant Bhushan was attacked inside his chamber in the Supreme Court by three youths allegedly belonging to Sri Ram Sene and Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena for his allegedly provocative remarks on Kashmir.

Meanwhile, another close associate of Anna Hazare and Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar also said, “There is no disagreement over Prashant Bhushan’s continuance in Team Anna,” adding, “All issues can be addressed in a proper way.”