New Delhi: Anna Hazare said he will shut down his blog after a fresh controversy broke out over a claim by his official blogger that the anti-corruption crusader wanted to 'restructure' his core team. (JPN/ Bureau/ Agencies)
On Saturday a fresh controversy had dogged Team Anna after Raju Parulekar who was earlier given the responsibility of Anna Hazare’s blog, made public a blog which was kept under wraps to blunt the Gandhian's claim that he had not spoken to him about reorganising his core team.
Parulekar had claimed that the Gandhian wanted to remove ‘undemocratic and fascist’ Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and ‘their pawns’ from his core group and in this regard, the Gandhian had also written a blog on October 23.
"I am thinking on the lines of restructuring the core committee. I am hereby informing all the members of Team Anna," Hazare said in the unpublished blog.
Hazare in his unpublished post had further said, “Am getting support from retired Supreme Court judges, retired high court judges, brigadiers and colonels from Army, professors and principals and educated people with idealism. Soon after taking their suggestions into consideration would distribute them responsibilities. People from different states will be given preference while forming a core committee. For effective communication they will be linked on-line.”
“In our organization no one will be president, secretary or treasurer. All the donations would be received through proper cheque or draft and proper receipts would be issued against them. But I would appreciate donations from those who believe in the ideology of freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, RajGuru and Sukh Dev,” he said.
Parulekar insisted that Anna was extremely unhappy with his team and wanted to form a pan-India organisation, a claim which was denied by the Gandhian. According to the blogger Hazare spontaneously" wrote the blog on restructuring the team on October 23 afternoon when he made up his mind to maintain distance from Kejriwal, Bedi and Bhushan and their pawns in the core committee.
"Sureshbhau Pathare (Hazare's close aide) was present there. He tried to stop Annaji but Annaji was unstoppable. Then Sureshbhau requested me not to upload Annaji's this particular blog at least immediately,” he said.
Alleging that Kejriwal and others manipulated Kumar Vishwas' letter on disbanding the core committee, he said after Team Anna left Ralegan Siddhi on October 30, "Anna asked me to stay back and in one-to-one close door meeting he signed an order to hold core team and asked me to put on blog which I haven't uploaded that order yet."
However, refuting to all the claims of the blogger and holding him responsible for the rumors of dissolution of the Team Anna, the Gandhian removed him from the post.
Hazare while rejecting suggestions that he was going to change his team said he will block his blog soon after reaching his native village in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra. He also suspected a conspiracy against him and his team.
"I have thought of changing my team many times as I heard about the allegations again and again. But you cannot say anything till I announce my decision," he told reporters.
Asked whether the letter posted in the website was his, Hazare said, "if there is my signature in the letter, then only you consider it as a mine. If the signature is not there, then it’s not mine."
The row between Hazare and Parulekar erupted after the Gandhian claimed that he never ever spoke to the journalist or met him on the issue of re-structuring of Core Committee and forming a new Pan-Indian organisation with immediate effect.
Parulekar posted his version as well as an unpublished blog by Hazare in Marathi along with its English translation in the Gandhian's blog this morning, claiming that he had not uploaded an order dictated by Hazare after October 30 following a Core Committee meeting asking him to hold it back.
Reacting to Parulekar's claim, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said, "it appeared that someone had a bigger game plan and it has got exposed just in time."
Police tapping Team Anna's phones: Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna alleged that government agencies were tapping the phones of Anna Hazare's associates.
A telephone conversation between him and an assistant of Hazare's was tapped by Delhi police a day before Hazare ended his maun-vrat (vow of silence)," he said here, talking at the conclave `Goa Think Fest'.
"We are hounded out. Chased. Telephones are tapped," he said.
A day before the Gandhian activist ended his maun-vrat, his assistant read out to Kejriwal, over phone, a message that Hazare wanted to come to Delhi and sit at Rajghat for 15 minutes.
Hazare wanted no publicity for this, Kejriwal said. However, "within 15 minutes of the phone call, I received a call from police, asking about Anna's Rajghat plan," Kejriwal alleged. "You can tap phones of the people who are into anti-national activities. Is Anna anti-national? Am I anti-national?" he said.
Digvijay targets Anna Hazare
Congress leader Digvijay Singhtook a swipe at Anna Hazare over his changing statements on a political campaign against the party if Lokpal bill was not passed in the Winter session of the Parliament.
"Anna's statements. Early October- Defeat Congress. Late October -Defeat Corrupt Candidates. Early November –Defeat Congress. Late November?," Singh commented on microblogging site Twitter.
Singh had said Hazare was losing his credibility because of his conflicting utterances on the Lokpal issue claiming that the social activist's campaign against Congress in Uttar Pradesh will have "zero" impact.
"Anna is losing his credibility gradually by making such statements. One day he says defeat Congress. The second day he says I am not against any party but against corrupt candidate.
Next day he says, I am going to campaign against Congress. He should make up his mind first and think before he says something," Singh had said.
Singh's recent public remarks including those on Twitter came after Hazare's declaration on Friday that he will campaign against Congress in five states where Assembly elections are due next year if UPA government fails to get Jan Lokpal Bill passed in Winter Session of the Parliament.
Singh maintains Hazare should silently wait till the Winter session, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has assured him to bring the bill in the session.
Centre defaming Team Anna members: Bedi
Anna Hazare associate Kiran Bedi alleged the government has no business except to look for opportunities for tarnishing the image of Team Anna members for its political gains in the coming elections.
She told reporters here that Arvind Kejriwal paid the amount demanded by the income tax department and she was also dragged in a controversy of discounted air fare, which showed that the government "did not leave a chance to defame them".
Bedi claimed Hazare team members "have no stigma of corruption" on them but the government wanted to defame them.
Retired IAS officer says Hazare blackmailing Centre
A retired IAS officer M N Buch alleged Anna Hazare was trying to blackmail the central government.
"It is one thing for Anna to ask the government to do what he thinks is right and another to say that only what he says is right, " the retired IAS officer told reporters.
Buch said there was no dearth of laws to control corruption.
He said under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a person can get an FIR filed against anyone including the Prime Minister.
The retired IAS officer said he was not against anyone in particular but did not approve of the methods adopted by some members of the Anna team.
Lokpal is but only a part of answer: Yechury
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury has said that Anna Hazare's movement against corruption might have evoked a mass appeal, but a Lokpal Bill was not the single answer to the bane of corruption in India.
Speaking on the issue of 'Corruption and Governance in India' organised by the Stanford Center for International Development, Yechury said while his party had always stood for bringing in the Lokpal Bill, a more "holistic" approach was needed to fight corruption.
He said ending corporate funding to parties was a part of the solution, so was the need to address corruption in judiciary.
Yechury lashed out at the process of economic reforms in India, which he said had resulted in a state of "crony capitalism" and the evolution of corruption into different forms.
"The most important effect of corruption today was that it was denying citizens their rightful due," Yechury said, citing the huge losses in the 2G spectrum scam, money that could have been used to subsidise food or education.
Highly critical of the type of economic liberalization being ushered in India, he said it had led to "crony capitalism" and creation of two different Indias - "one the Global Shining India and the other - the deprived India (which) people do not speak of much".
On Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption campaign, Yechury said renunciation had a great mass appeal in India but "Lokpal would not be the single answer to the bane of corruption".
"A holistic approach would be needed," he said, adding that Lokpal would be a part of it.
New Delhi: Anna Hazare said he will shut down his blog after a fresh controversy broke out over a claim by his official blogger that the anti-corruption crusader wanted to 'restructure' his core team.
(JPN/ Bureau/ Agencies)