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Miffed, two core members quit Team Anna

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 16:11

New Delhi: In fresh turmoil in Team Anna,
two prominent activists P V Rajagopal and `Waterman` Rajinder
Singh on Tuesday quit its Core Committee objecting to the movement
taking a "political turn" and claimed that it was mired in

The decision to launch anti-Congress campaign in Hisar,
which both claimed was not taken by the Core Committee,
appeared to be one of the reasons for these activists to quit
the panel, though Rajagopal says that the team was "putting
pressure" on him not to do so.

"I dissociate with the team. The team is turning
political. There were statements indicating that including
that on Hisar," Singh said.

Rajagopal, who is in Kerala`s Attappadi as part of an all-
India yatra for land rights, wrote to Core Committee convenor
Arvind Kejriwal about his decision while Singh said he did not
feel the need to write any such letter as he had not sought
any membership in the first place.

The fresh trouble came amid Hazare`s flip-flop on Prashant
Bhushan that the Core Committee will decide on the continuance
of the lawyer, who had created a controversy by advocating
plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, in the team.

"I have sent in the letter expressing my difficulty in
continuing in the team. They (the team) have told me not to
take any decision like this. I am in the midst of an all-India
yatra," Rajagopal said from Attappadi.

Asked whether all the decisions by Team Anna were taken
after due consultations, he said there was a problem in
coordination. "Every individual was speaking and it was team`s
decision. There was no Core Group decision on Hisar. I will
have difficulty in owning up decisions of individuals."

Singh, a Magsasay award winner known for his activities
in water conservation, said he was never that active in the
team. "When I felt that the team is taking a political turn, I
decided it is the day to quit," he said.

Rajagopal said the developments in Delhi were "too far
for me" and that he was not comfortable with opinions of
certain individuals being considered as the decision of the

A close aide of Rajagopal said the activist decided to
quit as the "dimensions" of the team were not clear and that
during the yatra, they were forced to face questions on the
decisions of Hazare and other members though he was not
involved in the decision making.

Serious differences appeared to have cropped up in Team
Anna on some important issues facing his campaign in the past
one week after Hazare`s latest position that the Core
Committee of his campaign will meet and decide whether
Prahsant Bhushan will continue in his team or not.

In two days, Hazare has changed his stand on Bhushan, who
is in the eye of the storm for his advocacy of plebiscite in
Jammu and Kashmir, thrice, much to the dismay of some of his
team members.

Hazare has also tweaked his campaign against Congress,
saying he will work with Congress across the country if the
UPA government brings a strong Lokpal Bill in the Winter
Session of Parliament and keeps its words on other reforms.

Hazare also decided to wait till the end of Winter
Session to embark on a `yatra` in Uttar Pradesh, contrary to
the earlier decision of hitting the streets against Congress
in the state soon after Dusshera.

The sources said his close aides in Ralegan Siddhi have
managed to convince him to tone down his anti-Congress


First Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 16:11
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