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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Rift wide open: Bedi stays away from Kejriwal's anti-graft show

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 26, 2012
First Published: 17:16 IST(26/8/2012) | Last Updated: 02:19 IST(27/8/2012)

Against Corruption's (IAC) key member Kiran Bedi on Sunday stayed away from the Arvind Kejriwal-led protest against corruption and the alleged scam in coal mines allocation, exposing sharp differences within the group over targeting the BJP.

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Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan had earlier in the day claimed that she would join the protest.

According to sources, Bedi was against picketing the residence of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and instead had been arguing that the Congress should be targeted as it was the ruling party.

"I had informed the team my personal perspective that we ought to focus on the ruling party as bracketing the opposition right now when they are already attacking the ruling party will in fact benefit only the party in power. End of the day if we paint all black, who will get us what the country needs now and in the near future? IAC cannot be an alternative overnight, it will take time," Bedi told PTI.

Other IAC members differed. "Congress and BJP are equally responsible for the Rs. 1.86 lakh-crore coalgate scam. BJP's demand for the prime minister's resignation is eyewash," said Sanjay Singh.

Addressing supporters, Kejriwal said there was no need for police to use force against IAC members, as they were only conducting a peaceful protest. He said they were being detained by Sonia Gandhi and not by the Delhi Police.

Kejriwal was detained with Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas. "Our intention was to show the nation that how BJP and Congress were hand in glove over the coal mines allocation issue," said Kejriwal.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the government could not claim zero loss because the coal was still in mines. "You are allocating natural resources to private companies on much less than actual price. You cannot claim zero loss just because one company does not sell the coal to other companies."

(With inputs from PTI)


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