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Split in Team Anna over continuing fast

Last updated on: August 25, 2011 00:32 IST

Split in Team Anna over continuing fast

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Sahim Salim in New Delhi

There seems to be a split within Team Anna over whether or not the Gandhian should continue his fast in the backdrop of his deteriorating health.

While Anna Hazare's close aide Arvind Kejriwal has warned the government that if anything happens to Hazare, the government would be directly responsible for it, some members of his core team are of the opinion that ending his fast is 'top priority.'

Anna's close aide, Swami Agniwesh said that saving Anna's life should be top priority.

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Image: A supporter of Anna Hazare wipes his eyes during the ninth day of his fast at Ramlila Ground
Photographs: Reuters
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'He should be allowed to be put on drip'

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When contacted, Agnivesh said, "Anna ji has been on a fast for nine days and his health is failing. He should be allowed to be put on a drip."

Meanwhile, speaking to rediff.com, Anna's chief doctor, Dr Naresh Trehan said that he is in a "weak condition."  

A close aide of Anna Hazare, who wished to remain anonymous, told rediff.com that some members felt that the Gandhian should remain steadfast on his fast.


Image: Anna Hazare with close aides Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh

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'Some members feel Anna should continue his fast'

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"Some members -- I won't name them -- feel that Anna Hazare needs to continue his fast because that is the factor that is scaring the government. They feel there should be sacrifices from the core team and since Anna ji himself is willing to fast indefinitely, he should be allowed. There were reservations from certain aides like Swami Agnivesh who said that Anna Hazare needed to live and bargaining with his deteriorating health is not an option," the aide told rediff.com.

While some members of Team Anna like Kiran Bedi are concerned about the veteran activist's repeated refusal of being put on medication, others opined if that was what the Gandhian wanted, it should be respected.

"In the Anna camp, some members feel that to put pressure on passing the bill, Anna needed to remain on fast. They feel the main factor which pulls people in to attend in large numbers is to see Anna ji fast. Kiran Bedi ji and Swami Agnivesh, however, want medical aid to be administered to him as opined by Anna ji's chief doctor, Dr Naresh Trehan. The problem is Anna ji has refused even the most basic of medication and there is a split within the team whether this is the ideal way to go," the aide said.


Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare protest at Ramlila Ground
Photographs: Reuters
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'Obviously he is in a weak state'

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Dr Trehan had advised intravenous drip for the Anna's deteriorating health, but the Gandhian refused it saying his 'conscience did not allow him to be put on it.'

"Obviously he is in a weak state, but his condition is stable. There is no urgent need for hospitalisation as of now. Maybe on Thursday," Dr Trehan told rediff.com

On Wednesday, Kejriwal said that if anything were to happen to Anna Hazare, the government would be responsible for it.

But the problem with this logic is that the government can claim that they did everything they could to reach a consensus, but it was Team Anna who remained adamant.

This could pose as a problem especially considering that none of the political parties accepted Hazare's Janlokpal Bill in the all party meet.

 


Photographs: Reuters
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