Coalgate protest: Bedi differs from Kejriwal on targeting BJP
New Delhi: Erstwhile Team Anna have planned to gherao the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari here on Sunday on the coal block allocation issue even as prominent member Kiran Bedi voiced her disagreement over targeting the main opposition party.
The activists under the aegis of India Against Corruption (IAC) will also gherao the residences of Chief Ministers in Chhattisgarh (Raman Singh), Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) and Odisha (Naveen Patnaik). Chhattisgarh and MP are BJP-ruled while BJD is in power in Odisha.
The expansion of the protest to opposition-ruled states was announced today while the initial announcement on Thursday was restricted to the residences of Prime Minister and Gadkari.
The Delhi Police have meanwhile denied permission for Kejriwal`s gherao protest on Sunday.
"I fully support Arvind`s call for Jantar Mantar rally. While I feel we need to focus on party in power, I respect his and others view to cover all...
"This is time for `a united front against corruption. If we keep fragmented the corrupt will continue to be in power to protect itself," Bedi tweeted expressing her disagreement over the decision to target BJP on the issue.
Kejriwal and others announced the gherao for Sunday following the tabling of CAG report on coal block allocation which said that the government could have lost Rs 1.86 lakh crore by going without competitive bidding during 2005-09.
They had alleged that Congress and BJP were hand-in-glove on the coal block allocation issue.
"Congress and BJP have got together to loot Rs 1.86 lakh crore in coal scam. (There will be) gherao of Prime Minister`s and Nitin Gadkari`s residences. Let us assemble at Jantar Mantar on August 26 (at) 10 am," Kejriwal said.
Delhi Police said they have taken adequate precaution to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the protest.
In an apparent precautionary measure, six Metro stations -- Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk, Race Course, Jor Bagh and Khan Market -- in Central Delhi will remain closed from 8 am to 6 pm tomorrow. The stations fall near and close to the residences of Singh and Gadkari.
"Are Metro stations closed during BJP and Congress rallies also? Does it mean parties and politicians are not a threat but the people of this country are a threat to the country?" he said.
Bedi said closing Metro stations to make it inconvenient for people to come to Jantar Mantar rally was "completely undemocratic".
Last week, the activists had threatened to file a PIL in court and carry out a referendum to "expose" the UPA on coal block allocations if the government does not constitute a special team to probe allegations.
"We have raised it on May 25. All our allegations have come true now. All parties are involved in it since screening committees have representatives of states also.
"We demand cancellation of allotments of coal blocks. Lodge FIR, constitute an SIT, failing which we will file PIL in court and carry out referendum on the issue to expose the government," Kejriwal had said.
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