Friday, October 14, 2011

Anna distances himself from Bhushan's view on Kashmir

Team Anna was in turmoil on Friday after Anna Hazare wondered whether Prashant Bhushan should continue in their campaign after his controversial remarks on Kashmir.

However, a few of Anna's associates met in Delhi seeking to downplay the issue saying the Gandhian had made no such point about Bhushan's continuance in the team.
"Woh aage jaake hum log tay karenge, rakhna (hai) nahi rakhna (hai) (We will decide later whether he will be in the teamor not)," Hazare told reporters in his native Ralegan Siddhi when asked whether Bhushan, a key aide in his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill, will remain part of Team Anna.
"Whatever views he has articulated, that is not right," he said, two days after Bhushan was attacked by three youths of a right-wing in his chamber in New Delhi for advocating plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
As Hazare's comments triggered a fresh controversy, activist Arvind Kejriwal addressed a press conference in New Delhi in which he sought to say that Hazare did not mean that the lawyer should be removed from the team.
"He is an integral part of the team. He is a very respected citizen who has worked in several areas including environment and human rights. He has played a crucial role in the anti-corruption movement also," Kejriwal said.
"I spoke to Anna over telephone. He told me that he did not say that. What he told me was that the committee will decide who should be in or out," he said.
A meeting of Team Anna's core committee was held in UP's Noida during which a resolution saying Kashmir is an integral part of India and the complex problem should be solved through peaceful discussions, was adopted.
However, Hazare, Bhushan and Bedi did not attend the meeting. Bedi is in Amsterdam while Bhushan has left for the US. Prashant's father Shanti Bhushan attended the meeting on Friday.

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