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Crucial Team Anna meeting tomorrow

Last Updated: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:03

New Delhi: Key figures of Anna Hazare`s team
will meet in Ghaziabad tomorrow sans the Gandhian, who is on a
vow of silence, to discuss the crisis facing the team after
they were enmeshed in a series of controversies.

Besides Hazare, prominent member Justice Santosh Hegde
is also not attending the Core Committee meeting to be held at
the office of Arvind Kejriwal-headed Public Cause Research
Foundation (PCRF) in Kaushambi in UP`s Ghaziabad.

The Core Committee meeting comes against the backdrop of
a series of allegations against key members like Kejriwal and
Kiran Bedi as well as resignation of two prominent activists
Rajinder Singh and P V Rajagopal citing the political turn
taken by Hazare`s anti-corruption movement.

The meeting also comes amidst a renewed attack on Hazare
by Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who alleged that the
Gandhian`s anti-corruption agitation as well as that of yoga
guru Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravisankar were part of an over-all
plan of RSS-BJP to divert attention from right-wing terror.

Team Anna has been on the backfoot with Bedi battling
charges of overcharging her hosts by inflating travel bills
and Kejriwal being accused of depositing donations collected
for Hazare agitation against corruption in PCRF as well as its
anti-Congress campaign in Hisar bypolls.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, another member, also triggered a
controversy by advocating plebiscite in Kashmir, evoking
strong opposition from Hazare and other team members.

Hazare`s decision yesterday to continue his `maun vrat`,
which he started on October 16, will mean that he will not
attend the Core Committee meeting when his team members were
facing attacks and questions of probity.

In a veiled attack on key Team Anna members, Hegde said,
"Anna`s strength does not lies in core committee or the
people`s honesty in the core committee". However, he cited a
prior commitment in Mumbai for not attending the meet.

Hegde said he was also keeping a watch on the controversy
surrounding Kejriwal and Bedi and remarked: "It`s a nice
churning and `manthan` is going on."

Former member Rajinder Singh, meanwhile, continued his
attack on Team Anna saying Hazare has deviated from his
objective and his team is full of "arrogant people in which
there is no room for good human beings".

Describing Bedi and Kejriwal as the "most arrogant
members" of Team Anna, Singh said being former bureaucrats
they are in the habit of throwing their weight about and
imposing themselves on others.

Sources in Team Anna said they will discuss all issues
involving the team, including the continuance of Bhushan in
the team.

Hazare had earlier said the Core Committee will decide on
the continuance of Bhushan in the team following his advocacy
of plebiscite in Kashmir. The issue came to fore after the
lawyer was attacked by right-wing activists in his office.

Interestingly, the Core Committee meeting is being held
in Kejriwal`s office while last time, the meeting which took
place days after the attack on Bhushan, was held at his Noida
residence and was chaired by his father and former Law
Minister Shanti Bhushan.

The issue also resulted in a flip flop by Hazare who
changed his stand on Bhushan at least thrice. Initially, he
said the committee will decide on Bhushan`s continuance, only
to retract in few hours blaming media.

However, he removed the blog posting supporting Bhushan
soon and later gave a TV interview only to reiterate his
aversion to Bhushan`s views on Kashmir. He followed it up with
a blog posting which discussed his views on Kashmir.


First Published: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:03
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