Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai has claimed that Anna Hazare has been pressurised by some people to compromise on the weak Jan Lokpal Bill that the Union Government tabled in Rajya Sabha on December 13. Rai was addressing the media after he was asked to leave Ralegan Siddhi over a spat with former Army chief General (Retd) VK Singh. Without revealing anyone’s name, Rai said that “few” people who would be affected by the Jan Lokpal Bill were not only pressurising Hazare, but were also trying their level best to ensure that AAP does not interfere in Anna’s present protest for the bill in question.
“The fight to bring a strong Jan Lokpal bill is not Anna’s individual fight but of all the countrymen. That’s the precise reason why even after leaving Anna’s village, I will continue my fast in Delhi till he continues his fast at Ralegan Siddhi,” said Rai. Social activist Anna Hazare has been fasting since December 10 to appeal for the Jan Lokpal bill. However, on Friday, his protest witnessed high drama, when General (Retd) Singh, during his speech at the fast venue, said that Anna’s movement was meant to ensure the passage of Jan Lokpal Bill and the need was to stand together rather than form different groups for personal gain.
As a result of this, an argument broke out between Singh and Rai, which forced Anna to ask Rai to leave his village. “I didn’t start the fight. Singh sidetracked the Jan Lokpal issue and that’s the reason I stopped him,” said Rai, who also claimed that it was completely Anna’s prerogative to decide whom to allow on his dais where he was protesting for Jan Lokpal.
Rai also raised questions about where these people were, when he and other supporters of Anna were protesting and fasting at Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan. He added that these people have surrounded Anna in Ralegan and are pressurising him to compromise. He avoided talking about Arvind Kejriwal’s meeting with Anna and said that Kejriwal is not well.