No rift in Team Anna: Hazare

Anna Hazare

NEW DELHI: Even as cracks surfaced in Team Anna over alliance with Ramdev and expulsion of a Muslim leader, Anna Hazare today claimed there is no rift in the group and said he will share dais with the yoga guru in the fight against corruption but ruled out any joint countrywide tour.

He also said the group has no differences of opinion on the conduct of Mufti Shameem Kazmi, who was accused of secretly recording the proceedings of yesterday’s core committee meeting.

“If there was a rift, we would have been fighting. There is no fallout,” Hazare told reporters.

Hazare also dismissed reports of differences in the team over the participation of Ramdev in the anti-corruption movement.

“Right now, for over a month, I will tour Maharashtra. He will be on his tour. He has our support in his campaign against black money and we have his support on Jan Lokpal. We are all fighting together on tackling corruption,” he said.

He said during the all-India tour, he and Ramdev will share stage wherever they meet. “We have our separate programs. Whenever we meet during the tour, we will share the dais,” he said.

“I told you before that we are not going to be touring together. But we are fighting for the same purpose of getting back black money and the Lokpal and the Lokayukta bills. We shall stand together and there is no change on that,” he said.

His comments came amid growing unease in Team Anna over the “one-upmanship” of Ramdev, with whom they had stitched an alliance to fight for the cause.

There were discussions on Team Anna’s association with Ramdev. A section of the team believes that he has a “credibility crisis” due to the allegations leveled against him.
At the meeting yesterday, it was reiterated that there will be no joint campaign with Ramdev but the two sides will extend support to each other in the fight against corruption.

Team Anna member and lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, “We have begun a movement against corruption and on that pretext, Ramdev supports us but we have no common platform or any consensus.

“We do have a consensus regarding these issues and common concerns regarding the country,” he said.

Another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said both Hazare and Ramdev were fighting against corruption and both the movements were two sides of the same coin.

“The cause remains common. What you are seeing is the coming together of civil society against corruption…If corrupt can come together why not the voices against corruption come together,” she said.

Asked about differences of opinion in Team Anna regarding the issue of association with Ramdev, she said it was not necessary that everybody speaks in the same language. “The cause (is what) everybody appreciates,” she said.

Asked about the expulsion of Kazmi, Hazare said that there is no fallout over the issue.

“There is no rift. What rift are you talking about? A team member who leaked information yesterday, there was a problem. People in our team had asked why he did so. So he said he would not come back,” he said.

Kazmi has claimed he quit the camp as the group was turning anti-Muslim.

-PTI

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