Anna's fast marred by differences
Mention of MPs’ names by Kejriwal irks Ramdev
Even though social activist Anna Hazare and Yoga guru Baba Ramdev sat on a day-long fast on Sunday, claiming “unity”, the event was marred by an open rift between Ramdev and Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal.
In his speech at the venue, Kejriwal spoke on inept handling of corruption issue by parliamentarians. However, when the RTI activist took some of their names in vain, it apparently made Ramdev see red.
Kejriwal said Parliament would never pass the Lokpal Bill as long as members like Lalu Prasad, A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi, Mulayam Singh Yadav were present. (He also mentioned the names of Jayalalitha and Mayawati.)
Just after Kejriwal’s speech, Ramdev went towards the mike and snubbed him for taking the names of parliamentarians. Ramdev said: “We thought that we will not take any body's name. But Arvind took the names and it would attract unnecessary controversy. We are against personal criticism.”
Hearing this, Kejriwal left the venue and later said he left because he was ill. During the end of the fast, Ramdev tried to downplay the issue and said there was no rift between Kejriwal and him.
During the opening speech at the fast venue in the morning, Ramdev clarified that 'they (Team Anna and Ramdev) are united.
“We have seen Ravan Lila at Ram Lila ground and fight for Lokpal Bill. “At both places, the government tried to separate and create conflicts between us but we are together and more stronger,” said Ramdev.
Similarly Hazare, who shared the dais along with Ramdev and around 20 people, also refuted the rumours of the divide. “I was on a tour of 36 districts in Maharashtra. I left the tour and came as I had promised. If I hadn't come, people would have again talked about the rift,” he said
Retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was also present, pointed out: “Both people (Ramdev and Hazare) are here and it a sign of unity. Two years ago, Ramdev ji along with Team Anna went to Parliament Street to register a complaint against corruption in Commonwealth Games and they are still together. Who says there is conflict?”