'Targeting Cong to make them pass Jan Lokpal' | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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'Targeting Cong to make them pass Jan Lokpal'

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the group's high decibel campaign against the Congress was deliberate because it was the only party in a position to ensure a strong Jan Lokpal. Gulam Jeelani reports.

lucknow Updated: Nov 15, 2011 01:25 IST
Gulam Jeelani

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the group's high decibel campaign against the Congress was deliberate because it was the only party in a position to ensure a strong Jan Lokpal.

"The moment the (jan lokpal) bill is passed, if they ask me to shout '(Congress general secretary) Rahul Gandhi Zindabad', I seriously would not mind," he said at a closed-door meeting with Muslim clerics and professionals in Lucknow.

He clarified that the Congress, as the leading party within the ruling UPA, could force the issue on the anti-corruption drive.

"We are deliberately threatening the UPA government simply to pass the jan lokpal bill in the winter session (of Parliament). Defeating them is not in our agenda," Kejriwal said, replying to a query during the meeting at the auditorium of the Shrushut Institute of Plastic Surgery.

On Team Anna's campaign against the Congress in the Hisar (Haryana) bypoll, the key member of social activist Anna Hazare's team (dubbed Team Anna) said keeping the movement apolitical was not possible.

"We have no loyalties towards any party. We cannot identify a sincere candidate. People of a particular area can, and that is what we have been asking people to do."

The former Indian Revenue Service officer added, "We are not giving clean chit to any party. Everybody knows the levels of corruption under Mayawati's government in Uttar Pradesh. We are also aware what former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was found guilty of."

He dismissed reports of a rift with fellow Team Anna member Kiran Bedi. "I see a large-scale conspiracy to deflect people from the core issue of jan lokpal." Although the Lucknow chapter of India Against Corruption had invited almost all the major clerics, only a handful turned up.