The core committee of team Anna met today to reiterate their demand that the government pass the Lokpal bill in the winter session of the Parliament. It said that it will not be cowed down by attempts to target members.
In recent weeks the committee has been hit by allegations and rifts. The team members have been accused of financial misconduct and diversion of funds. While Kiran Bedi has been sent notices by the income tax department regarding the financing of her NGOs, Arvind Kejriwal is defending himself against allegations that he diverted funds from the Hazare campaign to his own NGO. He said that the decision to do so was taken under the aegis of Hazare himself.
The team also said it will not disband itself, even though two of the high profile members have left the committee, and others have spoken out against the decision to campaign in the Hisar bypolls against the Congress.
Hazare who is on a vow of silence in his native Ralegam Siddhi, Justice Santosh Hedge, and Medha Patekar did not attend the meet. But Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant and Shanti Bhushan were among those present.
Going forward, as the movement seeks to broaden its reach it is facing rifts within its ranks.
While Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal are right sympathizers, (Kiran Bedi has made no secret of her admiration of the RSS) people like Bhushans are more to the left.
Bhushan was recently in the news for his support of a plebescite in Kashmir. Hazare instead of speaking for the right of individual members to hold their own views, appeared to distance himself from Bhushan’s stand. Hazare himself has praised Narendra Modi, the controversial CM of Gujarat.
It remains to be seen whether the movement can keep its focus on anti-corruption or will sink under its own contradictions.