NCP chief and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar stepped in to assert unity in the UPA over the lokpal issue, even as Anna Hazare continued to apply pressure to the government for accepting the former's version of the bill.
Pawar's remarks came hours after his party spokesman expressed unhappiness over Anna's arrest and demanded better a consultation process between the Congress and other UPA allies.
Terming the arrest of Hazare as needless, NCP spokesman D P Tripathi said, "There was no need to arrest Hazare and prevent him from going ahead with the fast. Errors would not have been committed, if allies had been consulted."
Pawar, who had to leave the GoM on corruption after Hazare's criticism, on Saturday said, "We are all with the Prime Minister on the issue and everyone wants smooth resolution of the matter. We all are of the same view."
"There is no division between the Congress and its allies and everyone wants a strong lokpal bill," Pawar added.
The NCP chief's support comes at a time when the Congress is trying to muster political support in favour of the bill to counter Hazare'e version.
Pawar also denied that he has been asked by the government to deal with Hazare. “Neither anyone nor the government has discussed the issue with me," said Pawar.
Earlier, Tripathi had said that the coalition should function collectively and no single party should handle the situation. But Tripathi also pointed out that Hazare adopted wrong methods to achieve his goal. He said Hazare should have used another method of protest.