Team Anna to be expanded soon

Plan to retain existing members, accommodate representatives from minorities

Hazare’s close aide Shyam Pathade from Ralegan Siddi told Deccan Herald on Monday that while none of the existing team members would be removed, “but owing to the continuous canard being spread against him and his team members of being narrow-minded, a decision has been taken to expand the team.”

The step follows a barrage of flak being faced by anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare from several quarters for allegedly being “sectarian.”

Though a formal announcement and the modalities of the team expansion is yet to be carved out, Hazare in an informal discussion with the local media has said that the new team, “will be formed keeping in mind a long-term plan unlike the existing team which was formed in the heat of the battle.”

The social crusader also once again lashed out at the UPA government for “carrying out baseless poisonous whisper campaign and framing false cases against the key members of Jan Lokpal movement.”

“They want to break our spirit,” Hazare said. “After all they (politicians) fear Jan Lokpal institution because they will be finally made accountable, answerable...and also be reined in.”

The crusader also challenged the government to carry out investigations into the functioning of the team or into the financial profiles of its members. “We have nothing to fear and if they feel that these tactics will slow down our movement then I think they are wrong.”

Incidentally, Team Anna has also approached several retired judges to become a part of the committee set up by civil society to look into the allegations made against some of its members.

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