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Agnivesh in eye of YouTube storm

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2011 23:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Anna Hazare's former aide Swami Agnivesh is in trouble over accusations that he betrayed the social activist by holding secret talks with the government, where he urged them not give more concessions to the team.

In a sensational video broadcast by a news channel on Sunday, Agnivesh was heard talking to 'Kapilji' about not giving more ground to Team Anna as their demands were increasing.

Team Anna trashed Agnivesh's claim that he was talking to "Kapil munni" from Haridwar, inferring he was talking to union minister Kapil Sibal to weaken the demand for a strong Lokpal Bill. Sibal was involved in negotiations during the initial stages of the standoff between Team Anna and the government.

The authenticity of the video has not been verified. The TV channel approached Kapil Munni, who denied having had a conversation with Agnivesh. Agnivesh claimed the video footage was "doctored and concocted" and part of a smear campaign against him.

"It is a cut and paste job. There are several people in my personal circle whose first name is Kapil," he said, without disclosing the identity of the person who he talked to.

Hazare's key aide Kiran Bedi said Agnivesh had been exposed on YouTube and he needed to clarify his position. Dubbing the reported telephonic conversation as unethical, she told a news channel, "What came on YouTube was breach of trust."

She said Team Anna wasn't aware Agnivesh was in contact with others. Bedi also trashed Agnivesh's allegations that Anna's aides were using him. "Nobody can use Anna. Anna uses nobody," she said.

Agnivesh was among those who had urged Hazare to end his fast. On Friday, Agnivesh had said hardliners in the team were preventing him from ending his fast.