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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Kejriwal reaches out to Bedi, she keeps distance

Agencies  New Delhi, September 03, 2012
First Published: 12:43 IST(3/9/2012) | Last Updated: 16:57 IST(3/9/2012)

Social activist Arvind Kejriwal on Monday urged former IPS officer Kiran Bedi to join his agitaion, but Bedi reiterated her stance saying that she is apolitical.

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"I am not a part of the political outfit, just like Anna. This country needs an independent Jan Lokpal Bill and the Right to Reject."

She added that the country needs to root out the corrupt people.

"However, it will take time. Arvind's party has a future. I believe the IAC needs to go more to the people, explain to them what is needed and go with the less corrupt people. I think Arvind needs more time at the moment. Right now this andolan is a political movement."

The former top cop said that Kejriwal's intention is right but is a bit too early.

"What he is doing right. I believe we should get the law, and for this we can be with the less corrupt and then give a political option."

File photo of erstwhile Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi.

Kejriwal, however, said that he was unaware of Bedi's latest tweet in which she has mentioned that she was not going to be a part of his agitation.

"I don't know what Kiran Bedi has said. I have not seen it. I just pray to god that she returns back to our movement because she is an important part of our movement. We have tried to convince her a lot," he said.

Bedi has in her latest tweet said that she was not going to be a part of Kejriwal's latest agitation. In her tweet, she said that she was apolitical but 'will stay with the cause'.

Recent media reports indicate that she may be aspiring for the post of chief ministership of  Delhi state.

Meanwhile, veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Monday said that he was unaware of Kejriwal's call for 'Jail Bharo' agitation.

"I am not aware of Kejriwal's call for courting arrest in Delhi," he told media in Bangalore.

Hazare also denied reports of a rift between him and Kejriwal, and added that they were united as before against corruption.

Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas on Monday courted arrest at Parliament Street Police Station.

Kejriwal said they were courting arrest to voice their protest against harassment to supporters of the group.




Kejriwal told reporters in New Delhi that he and his fellow activists would go to the Parliament Street police station to ask police to arrest them.

"The police has been harassing our supporters. They call about 40 to 50 of our supporters to the police station and detain them till evening for protesting against the coal blocks allocation," Kejriwal said.

"Section 144 was used unconstitutionally against us and we are prepared to face the consequences," he added.

Section 144 prohibits the gathering of five or more people at a site.

Cases of rioting have been registered against six IAC members -- Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Neeraj Kumar, Kumar Vishwas and Gopal Rai -- as well as several unidentified people for holding a protest outside the houses of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Aug 26.

An IAC volunteer said that several volunteers were daily being taken to the police station for the past nine days for protesting outside the houses of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Aug 26.

"For the past nine days since Aug 26, IAC volunteers are being taken to three police station Mandir Marg, Tughlaqabad and Parliament Street police stations and they are detained till evening for participating in the protest," Bibhav Kumar, an IAC member, told IANS.

"Kejriwal and five others whose names are in the FIR will go to the Parliament Street police station by 11 am, request them to arrest them and put them in jail. They will demand that volunteers detained during Aug 26 protest should not be subjected to harassment in the name of collecting evidence," Kumar said.

Taking no chances, the Delhi Police have deployed hundreds of policemen outside the Parliament Street police station.

(With ANI and PTI inputs)

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