Team Anna member Kiran Bedi’s travel agent, also a trustee of her NGO, quit both posts on Tuesday, saying his reputation had been tarnished by the controversy over her inflated travel bills.
This happened even as the government tried to play down its acrimony with the civil society group and Bedi’s colleague Arvind Kejriwal — accused of diverting the team’s funds to his NGO — dared the Centre to probe the charges against them.
Anil Bal, proprietor of Flywell Travels, said Bedi’s defence of her alleged submission of inflated bills “conveyed a wrong impression” about him. “We followed the rules and did nothing wrong either in issuing tickets and/or in invoicing for the same,” he said.
Bal said his agency issued tickets to Bedi’s India Vision Foundation and was paid in cheques. “We have no interaction with the organisations for whom Ms Bedi undertakes travel and no knowledge of the understanding they have with IVF.”
"If Kiran Bedi has committed a crime, hang her. Whatever mistake she has made, investigate and punish her. But we can’t decide in a press conference whether the charges are true or false,” said Kejriwal. On Monday, Anna Hazare had accused a “gang of four” in the UPA of running a smear campaign.
Law minister Salman Khurshid said, “Please don't try to create differences between civil society and the government.”