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No more talks with government, says Hazare

July 18, 2012 20:00 IST
Accusing the government of conspiring to split his team, Anna Hazare on Wednesday said he will not hold talks with government any more on Lokpal issue, an announcement that came in the wake of leak of reports of his meeting with Law Minister Salman Khurshid recently.

Breaking his silence on the meeting with Khurshid on June 23 near Pune, he said the minister had asked him to keep the meeting secret and he agreed. Khurshid had also asked him not to participate in the proposed fast in Delhi.

Addressing a press conference in Ralegan Siddhi, he released a letter he has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he denied the claim of Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy that he was helping the government on evolving a consensus on Lokpal.

"When Salman Khurshid told me that the government will take a decision on the issue before July 25 (when Team Anna plans to go on fast), it clearly means that differences crop up in the team before the agitation so that I am not part of the protest. After coming to know about your government's conspiracy, I do not wish to talk to any minister or any responsible person now or in future. People's fight is a way for betterment of the society and the country. Till we get Jan Lokpal, the people's struggle will continue," Hazare said.

Referring to Narayanasamy's letter of Monday in which he had claimed that Hazare had helped the government in evolving a consensus, the activist said this communication addressed to him was delivered to his team members unlike the usual practice of reaching him.

"I am asked to keep the meeting secret. I said why not in the interest of people. But Narayasamy gets his letter hand delivered to my team members. That is when doubt arises whether an attempt was being made to split my team.

"The purpose of this move was to create an impression among the team that Anna is keeping them (his associates) in dark and holding consultations with government so that a misconception can be created and the team can be split," he claimed. He alleged that the government had worked a lot to create differences in the team but they did not succeed. It is said that crores of rupees have been spent on this, he added.

"What will be the future of the country if those running the country have bad intentions? If the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi are part of this, then it is a matter of concern for the country," he said.

Hazare alleged that Khurshid met him to persuade him not to attend the protests by Team Anna and yoga guru Ramdev.

Claiming that he was told by Khurshid that government is willing to bring Jan Lokpal Bill, he defended his meeting saying that he agreed for the meeting thinking that it will help the country.

Hazare also claimed that Khurshid told him that he will talk to Dr Singh and Gandhi and get back to him on the issues raised by him.

"Khurshid told me that prime minister will discuss issues with me and my team. Once Prime Minister accepts the demands, then it will be made public through a press conference. Till then, it should be kept secret," Hazare claimed.

He also claimed Khurshid informed him that Dr Singh and Gandhi had accepted his demands following which he raised doubts about how the government will go ahead with the bill. "I told him that a Bill has already been passed in Lok Sabha and now it is with the select committee of Rajya Sabha. I asked how are they going to deal the issue in such a situation," he said claiming Khurshid did not respond to his questions.


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