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We too have made many mistakes, admits Kejriwal

Last updated on: May 03, 2012 11:23 IST

Prominent Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal admitted to a group of journalists on Wednesday that they too have made many mistakes during the course of Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement.

"I agree. We too have made many mistakes, and there were so many things that could have been done differently," Kejriwal said during the launch of another book on Anna Hazare's nationwide movement to press for a stronger Lokpal bill, at the India International Centre in New Delhi.

"Oh yes. Anna movement should be given more time," was the general say at the launch of 'Annadolan', a compilation of essays and interviews on the Anna Hazare movement. The book comprises of commentaries by National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy and Team Anna member Manish Sisodia, among others.

In groups of two or four, people freely talked; a few nodded, "It's too early to dismiss the Anna movement. It takes a lot of time for things to change."

"If Anna Hazare's movement was indeed a mass movement, then it should have started where they usually do -- in the streets of towns and cities before reaching the echelons of power. But this made its first step right in the heart of the power in New Delhi, and then trickled down to the masses," a few in the day's audience questioned.

"And why are all the senapatis of Anna andolan city bred?" asked another.

Kejriwal walked in lone and made a casual entrance to the event. He was soon joined by the former Uttarakhand chief minister B C Khanduri.

Both chatted minutes before the official release of the book, and Kejriwal said to Khanduri, "Nobody else (none of the other state governments) passed the Lokpal bill. We've talked to everybody. I have now decided to call it (the Lokpal bill in Uttrakhand) as Khanduri's Lokpal bill."

Senior Congress leader and the sole representation of the government for the evening, Mani Shankar Aiyer, was also expected to join -- but he didn't attend.

Attended by senior journalists, the course of the debate mainly hovered over well-versed issues.

For instance, many in the audience wanted to know why the team that wanted meetings of the standing committee during the first rounds of talks between them and government to be telecast on national television chose to be so secretive about the happenings in their own core committee meetings.

Senior cleric Shamoon Qasmi was ousted from a Team Anna meeting after he was 'caught red handed' recording the proceedings of a core committee meeting.

Arvind Kejriwal clarified.

"When we had asked to televise the proceedings of the standing committee's meeting, we were not just asking for transparency from their (the government's) side. We were presenting our side of transparency too."

"But core committee is different. We feel we are being targeted, and revealing our strategies to deal with it would be almost suicidal for us," Kejriwal explained.

Priyanka in New Delhi