Kejriwal ‘patches up’ with Hazare at late night meet | india | Hindustan Times
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Kejriwal ‘patches up’ with Hazare at late night meet

It was the first meeting of veteran anti-graft activist Anna Hazare and CM Arvind Kejriwal after almost 10 months, which party sources said, helped clear the air between Hazare and his one-time lieutenant.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2014 13:05 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Arvind Kejriwal

It was the first meeting of veteran anti-graft activist Anna Hazare and CM Arvind Kejriwal after almost 10 months, which party sources said, helped clear the air between Hazare and his one-time lieutenant.

Kejriwal had met Hazare late on Saturday night at Maharashtra Sadan, a meeting that people from both parties called a “courtesy visit”. Late on Sunday night, Kejriwal met Hazare again along with his colleague education minister Manish Sisodia and party leader Sanjay Singh. The CM said that Hazare has expressed support for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Talking to the media, Hazare said he didn’t want to get into politics and will wait and watch AAP’s actions.

Hazare and Kejriwal had raised a storm in 2011 and halfway through 2012 over the need for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill at the Centre before parting ways. Kejriwal and several others from what was Team Anna went on to form a political outfit, which was later named the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The duo had met last in April first week when Kejriwal had fasted against inflated power and water bills as part of his civil disobedience movement.

Friday’s meeting happened thanks to Hazare’s comment at a meeting at Gandhi Peace Foundation (GPF) about how except Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, none of the chief ministers had bothered to reply to his letter mentioning 17 points, including decentralisation of powers to the people to improve the system.

“Prof Anand Kumar, member of the AAP’s national executive, was attending the GPF meeting. He immediately checked with Kejriwal, who said he or his government never received any such letter. Anand then took upon him to declare that AAP was on the same page on these issues and that there were no differences,” sources said.

Kumar then fixed up the meeting and Kejriwal went to meet Hazare at Maharashtra Sadan. “After their last meeting, there were a lot of issues which had led to a communication gap, be it Gen VK Singh joining Anna or former team Anna member Kiran Bedi’s taking sides with the BJP. This meeting last night was a courtesy call and helped clear the air and hopefully the relations would only improve.”

Hazare had lauded Banerjee for her simplicity while taking a jibe at Kejriwal, who “wanted a bungalow despite promising not to go for it”.