High drama and reports of friction marred a core committee meeting of Team Anna at Noida on Sunday, which decided to send notices to 14 union ministers whom Hazare and his colleagues have dubbed as “corrupt.”
Mufti Shameem Kazmi speaks to the media after he was expelled from Team Anna. HT/Burhaan Kinu
The meeting was held in the backdrop of reports that majority of the members were unhappy at Hazare’s sudden announcement on Friday to tie up with yoga guru Baba Ramdev for a joint fast on June 3 in New Delhi.
Though the members maintained there was no controversy about Hazare sitting on a fast with Ramdev, but the mood at the meeting suggested that core committee members prevailed upon the veteran activist against any joint front with the controversial yoga guru.
The developments took a sudden turn in the afternoon with one of the founding members of India Against Corruption, Mufti Shamoon Kazmi, walking out of the meeting amid conflicting reports explaining the sudden exit.
Kazmi claimed he left because the team had become “anti-Muslim”, but Team Anna said he was told to leave as he was secretly recording the meeting’s proceedings on his cellphone.
Last year Swami Agnivesh had to leave Team Anna after a video clipping purportedly showed him talking against Hazare. Two activists PV Rajagopal and Rajinder Singh had also quit the team due to differences over the way in which decisions were taken.
Kazmi said Team Anna had become anti-Muslim.
“All other members are under Arvind’s (Kejriwal) influence. Anna is under pressure. I have nothing to do with the team now,” he said.
Team Anna members, Kumar Vishwas and Shazia Ilmi, however, said Kazmi was seen audio-recording proceedings of the meeting.
“He had prepared three clippings. This was not the right thing to do. He (Kazmi) has done this before. We have deleted the clippings,” they said.