New Delhi: Already plagued by internal dissensions, Team Anna plunged into yet another controversy on Thursday with allegations against Kiran Bedi that she charged her hosts full fare on air tickets while availing discounts but the activist claimed there was "no personal" gain.

Allegations were levelled against Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, that she used her gallantry medal to get 75 percent discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from the organisers who have invited her to the function.
It was also alleged that she claimed business class fare even when she was travelling in economy class.

Reacting to the allegations, Bedi said, "Business class travel is part of the invitation/entitlement from the event organizers/corporates I'm asked to speak at. Travelling economy is a choice despite entitlement is to ensure that savings remain with the NGO.

"(There is) no personal gain here. Sorry to disappoint detractors trying real hard to find a smoking gun. However, I accept this kind of coverage as a part of the challenges which being in public life poses," she said adding the money "saved" went to NGO India Vision Foundation run by her.

Team Anna has been in turmoil in the recent days following Hazare's flip-flop over Prashant Bhushan's advocacy of plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir and resignation of two prominent Core Committee members P V Rajagopal and Rajinder Singh complaining that decisions were not being taken democratically.

There was also dissention in the team regarding the move to launch an anti-Congress campaign in Hisar bypolls and upcoming Assembly elections without proper discussion in the Core Committee.

"I have nothing to hide. Whatever money came from the organisers of functions, it went to the institution," Bedi said adding she was "not a beneficiary" in this case as all the money she got went into her NGOs.

"I get a lot of money through my lectures and royalty on books. I donate it to the NGOs," she later told reporters.

She also said when some NGOs invite her and they cannot afford, then she travels to them using the Foundation money.

Hazare has also tweaked his campaign against the Congress, saying he will work with the 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.

The Gandhian has 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.

Agnivesh demands CBI probe

Hitting out at former colleague Kiran Bedi, activist Swami Agnivesh on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into allegations that she misused benefits of her gallantry award to earn money for her NGO and asked her to stop giving lectures on corruption till her name is cleared.

Agnivesh, who had a bitter parting with Team Anna in which Bedi is a key member, said the nature of allegations is very serious and it was not about the amount of money involved.

"She has misused the benefits that gallantry awards provide. She tried to make money for her NGO. It is a serious criminal offence under Section 273 of Income Tax Act," he said.

It is in her benefit that she should subject herself to a CBI inquiry, he said adding, "till her name is cleared, she should stay away from public life and stop giving lectures on corruption."

He said she is a former IPS officer and she has the repsonsibility to set some standards on conduct and probity.

The allegations against Bedi that she overcharged companies and institutions by inflating her travel expenses evoked a strong attack from Congress and former colleagues in the anti-corruption campaign.

Allegations were levelled against Bedi, a key member of Team    Anna, that she used her gallantry medal to get 75 per cent discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from the organisers who invite her to speak at various fora.

Congress trains guns at Bedi

New Delhi: Stepping up attack on Team Anna following allegations against Kiran Bedi, Congress on Thursday said it shows the "true colours" of the Gandhian's associates and asked her to come clean on it.
   
"Bedi must first prove herself clean to the people before she fights against corruption.... It is very unfortunate that while, on one hand she fights against corruption, on the other she should be doing all this," party Spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
   
He said, "One colleague of Anna Hazare demands plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, the other says Anna is above Parliament and now the third one is found charging more money from her hosts than she actually paid on her airfare. All of them are now showing their true colours."
   
His remarks came after allegations were levelled against Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, that she used her gallantry medal to get 75 percent discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from the organisers who invited her to a function.
   
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh termed it a "very serious allegation" and insisted that Bedi should come clean in this.
   
Reacting to the allegations, Bedi, however, said, "Business class travel is part of the invitation or entitlement from the event organisers or corporates I'm asked to speak at. Travelling economy is a choice despite entitlement is to ensure that savings remain with the NGO.
   
"(There is) no personal gain here. Sorry to disappoint detractors trying real hard to find a smoking gun. However, I accept this kind of coverage as a part of the challenges which being in public life poses," she said.

Salman refuses to comment on Bedi
      
Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed on Thursday refused to comment on Team Anna member Kiran Bedi embroiled in an air ticket controversy.
      
"I don't pronounce judgement on anyone so soon... as Kiran Bedi does on any particular issue... they react very soon.. I'll not," was the reply of Khursheed when approached for his comment on Bedi's controversy.
      
The minister is on a day-long tour here to attend the function organised by his party.

(Agencies)