Amid signs of a rift with fellow activists, Kiran Bedi, a key member of the disbanded Team Anna, yesterday said the India Against Corruption (IAC) agitation of Sunday should have pressed for the resignation of the prime minister over coal blocks allocation “instead of bracketing all in Coalgate”.
Bedi, who had kept away from the IAC agitation, said in a tweet, “Instead of bracketing all in Coalgate, demonstration of yesterday (Sunday) should have been for PM’s resignation! PM has breached national trust!” The former woman top cop who had made known her opposition to the IAC targeting the BJP, clarified that she was not joining that party.
“When you speak for an issue for which that party (BJP) also stands today doesn’t mean that you have joined the party, or the party has incorporated you. The country must get used to independent voices... without aligning them up with interests and commitments. The country also has independent people they have nothing to gain but their own conviction to promote,” Bedi told a TV channel.
Bedi had not joined the IAC agitation as she felt the target of the protesters should be only the ruling Congress. She said she was “only for focus of the movement to hold the party in power accountable. They alone have the power to replace the rotten system”.
In Sunday’s IAC agitation Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan led hundreds of supporters to besiege the houses of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to protest alleged corruption in coal blocks allocation.
Asked if reports of a rift between Bedi and other IAC members was true, an IAC key member refused to comment. But when Kejriwal was asked the reason for Bedi’s absence in the protest march, he had said, “On this issue she (Bedi) probably feels that the BJP can give the country a good government. But the BJP can’t.”
Meanwhile, Bedi also said she would join the next protest by IAC “only if they focus and remain non-partisan and they remain inclusive, and if they don’t paint everyone with the same brush”.
Asked if she was unhappy with the way the IAC movement was heading, Bedi said, “I certainly wish this movement had remained the way it was — as a national movement.”
On the possibility of the BJP absorbing Bedi as a member, a senior party member not wishing to be named said, “a final decision would be taken by senior party leaders”.