'Out of 120 crore people in India, can only saints question UPA?'
Facing allegations of financial misconduct, activist Arvind Kejriwal broke his silence on Tuesday daring the government to conduct a probe against him and other Team Anna members even as he questioned the motive behind the "smear campaign".
Defending himself and former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi, who is under attack for inflating her travel bills, Kejriwal said, "If someone paid the ticket examiner in Railway because he needed a ticket, so that person cannot question Suresh Kalmadi? Is this the message being given out?
"Do you mean to say that out of 120 crore people, only saints can question UPA's (United Progressive Alliance) corruption while government will keep robbing people? If anybody questions then that person will be asked to look into his case first," he said and warned that if the current smear campaign continues, the next movement will be 10 times bigger.
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Image: Arvind Kejriwal with Anna Hazare
'If Kiran Bedi has committed a crime, hang her'
Kejriwal, who was accused by Swami Agnivesh of depositing donations for Hazare agitation in a trust run by him, said if they have committed mistakes, then the government was free to probe and punish them by taking the strongest possible action.
"Dont forgive us. Give us twice the punishment given to common people. But bring Lokpal and you will have to," he said.
He lamented that the whole attention is being shifted from corruption movement and Lokpal to core committee which has "no importance".
"Whether Kiran Bedi paid bills or not has become national issue. It will not benefit nation. It will be useful when Lokpal will come. Government should understand that their ways and methods are increasing the anger among people," he said.
"If these smear campaign continues, then the people of this country are watching and the next movement will be 10 times bigger," he said.
"If Kiran bedi has committed a crime, hang her. Send her to jail but talk about Lokpal Bill. Whatever mistake she has done, investigate and punish her but we cannot decide it in a press conference whether the allegations are true or false," he said.
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Image: Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and other supporters at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi
'Useless to comment on Digvijay Singh's allegations'
On Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh's allegations that he was supported by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party, Kejriwal said he had always maintained that it is "useless to comment" on the utterings of the Congress leader.
On Lokpal bill, he said there was no other way than passing Lokpal Bill and they were ready for dialogue.
"When had we run away from dialogue? But on the other hand allegations were levelled against us everyday. They spoilt the atmosphere. Who is creating disturbance. If the government's intentions are honest, then the bill can be passed in a day," he said.
Asked about the "Gang of Four" referred to by Hazare, Kejriwal said it was a guess and only Hazare knows about it. "I don't know," he said.
Kejriwal claimed that the Income Tax Department officials were after them and their chartered accountant was summoned by the officials on Monday.
"Investigate us, put all the agencies in the country after us, punish us in the harshest way but you will have to bring the Lokpal Bill," he said.
Image: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh