Unease in Team Anna; Hazare hints at revamp

Anna hinted at expansion of his core committee as a sense of unease gripped his team over allegations of financial misconduct by some members.

New Delhi: Anna Hazare on Friday hinted at
expansion of his Core Committee as a sense of unease gripped
his team over allegations of financial misconduct by some of
its key members.

The core committee of Team Anna will be expanded soon,
journalist Raju Parulekar, who is Hazare`s official blogger,
said as two key member Medha Patkar and Kumar Vishwas demanded
"overhaul" of the core committee.

He, however, declined to go into details of when and how
the revamp will take place.

The thinking on reconstituting the team comes ahead of
the crucial meeting of the Core Committee in nearby Ghaziabad
tomorrow which will not be attended by Hazare, who is on a vow
of silence from October 16.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of a series of
allegations against key members like Kejriwal and 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.

Parulekar also said Hazare is contemplating forming a
pan-India apolitical organisation to achieve his objective of
a change in whole electoral system.

"The new outfit would aim at not playing the game of
election but to change the rule of the game of election,"
Parulekar said adding "it will be an apolitical organisation."

Though Patkar and Vishwas did not criticise Kiran Bedi
and Arvind Kejriwal, who are facing flak over the running of
their NGOs and their financial integrity being questioned,
they have referred to the allegations faced by the core
committee members.

"I don`t think there is a difference of opinion. The only
thing is a bit of overhauling is certainly becoming necessary
because there are a number of allegations and Core Committee
members are being targeted," Patkar, who will not be attending
tomorrow`s meeting due to prior engagement, said.

Another prominent member Santosh Hegde will also not
attend the meeting.

Vishwas shot off a letter to Hazare demanding suspension
of the core committee and sought its expansion to make it more
representative against the backdrop of Congress leaders
targeting it.

"Such attacks (against Team Anna members) and the
subsequent clarifications will strengthen the conspiracy to
divert the attention from the key issues...I request you to
give greater representation to the Core Committee consisting
of limited members and turn it into a hard-core committee
comprising of 121 crore people.

"I once again urge you to suspend the present core
committee and create a new system to enable us to see a
corruption-free new India," Vishwas, a lecturer-poet, said.

He said the leaders of the ruling party were targeting
Hazare and each member of the core committee and trying to
tarnish their public image and credibility.

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 and said
there were no differences.

Meanwhile Rajinder Singh, who quit Team Anna due to
differences over its political approach, alleged that Anna
Hazare deviated from his objective by supporting a "corrupt"
candidate in Hisar bypoll and that his team is full of
"arrogant" people.

Singh also attacked Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal,
alleging they were the "most arrogant" members of Team Anna.

Being former bureaucrats they are in the habit of
throwing their weight about and imposing themselves on others,
he alleged.

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

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi refused
to comment on the rejig in Team Anna saying it was an internal
matter of the organisation

There is no need for the Congress party to comment on the
"constitution, reconstitution or the deconstitution" of any
other organisation, he said.

"There is no need for us to say on any other
organisation`s internal matter," he said. Singhvi is also the
Chairman of the Standing Committee of Law and Justice which is
going into the Lokpal issue.


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