On Saturday, when Team Anna finally emerged from hibernation after the Mumbai debacle in December it came under attack. Literally.
One Kishen Lal, a 35-year-old shopkeeper from the Premnagar area in Dehradun hurled a shoe at the team, including Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia who are on a three-day tour of the state to campaign against corruption.
The team had just reached the dais after a stopover at Haridwar, when Lal swung into action. Soon after, supporters of activist Anna Hazare reciprocated and manhandled Lal. The police, however, intervened and frisked him out of the Lord Venkateshwara banquet hall immediately.
The motive behind Lal’s action could not be ascertained.
Dehradun’s SSP GN Goswami though denied the shoe was actually hurled. “We managed to catch the man when he was about to throw the shoe,” he said. A section of the audience, however, claimed the man managed to throw the shoe, but it had missed the target.
After the commotion ended the team continued with the programme — urging people to rally against corruption and accusing the Centre of bringing a “toothless” lokpal bill, which is like a “dead body strewn with flowers”.
Kejriwal said the Centre did not want to bring the CBI under the lokpal and criticised all parties for their role in bringing a “weak” bill in Parliament.
“Be it the BJP or BSP, all these parties tried to pass a weak Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha,” he said.
He praised the Lokayukta Bill brought by the BJP government in Uttarakhand, but also said, “Don’t give your votes to those accused in the Kumbh scam. Instead, send them to jail”. He, however, did not name former BJP CM Ramesh Kumar Pokhriyal or any other accused in the scam.