New Delhi: The rift between Anna Hazare aides seems to be widening with India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal deciding to target all the political parties on corruption, while Kiran Bedi making it clear that she only wants the Congress to be targetted, and not the BJP.
Cracks were seen in erstwhile Team Anna, which is taking a political plunge soon, as Anna Hazare too indicated that he is not in favour of forming a political party. He also said that he will not fight election in future.
However, Kejriwal made every attempt to rule out differences amongst the members, even as Kiran Bedi did not take part in the protest march in New Delhi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP president Nitin Gandkari's residences.
Even as Arvind Kejriwal\'s IAC has decided to take the political plunge, Anna Hazare ruled out the formation of a political party.
Kejriwal said the former IPS officer was "completely" with them and "there could be two view point on any issue". But he admitted that "her viewpoint is slightly different".
On reports claiming differences with Anna, Kejriwal said, "TV channels are showing videos of people wearing 'I am Arvind' caps. This is very unfortunate. Anna Hazare is our leader. I respect him like I do my father. He is our leader am just a soldier."
Bedi said that Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption cannot become the alternative to existing political system "overnight".
Though Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan insisted earlier in the day that she will come to Jantar Mantar and join the protest, Bedi did not make it and said she had informed them of her personal perspective.
She was opposed to targeting BJP on the coal block allocation issue by gheraoing the residence of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and has been arguing in the group to focus on Congress as it is the ruling party.
"I had informed the team my personal perspective, that we ought to focus on the ruling party as bracketing opposition right now when they are already attacking the ruling party will in fact benefit only the party in power. They obviously firmed up their mind! I have nothing whatsoever to do with any political formation. Nor am I being soft. I am just being realistic," Bedi said.
"Am equally aware that allegations are against many persons in opposition parties too. But it was about the focus as of now. Focus on the main culprit, the ruling party. End of the day if we paint all black but who will get us what the country needs now and in the near future? IAC cannot be an alternative overnight, it will take time," she said.
The former IPS officer said that the "prime opposition party" (BJP) was needed to get the system in place. "In JLP (Jan Lokpal Bill), BJP was moving amendments for independent CBI at least, had the Bill been allowed to be passed in Rajya Sabha that night. Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj, Advani and Gadkari were receptive to our suggestions. Arvind and Bhushans had several meetings with them," she said.
Bedi said that BJP, at least, was not "dismissive" like the ruling party as they "agreed to support in some ways, not in all though.... Why must we forget this? I am being objective in this. I have no political affiliation, inclination or expectations."
Arvind Kejriwal’s protest march:
Police fired tear gas and sprayed water as hundreds led by Arvind Kejriwal noisily protested against corruption near Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residences.
Large numbers of IAC supporters broke through police barricades in a bid to besiege the houses of Manmohan Singh as well as Gandhi in the heart of the capital.
Though the IAC had also called for protests outside BJP president Nitin Gadkari's residence, blaming both the Congress and BJP for the irregular coal blocks allocations, the main focus seemed to be the prime minister and Gandhi.
The one notable absentee Sunday was former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi.
Asked about her, Kejriwal said, "On this issue she probably feels that the BJP can give the country a good government. But the BJP can't."
Kejriwal had said on Saturday that Bedi was with them, and Bedi had stated she "fully supports" Kejriwal's protest call.
In a clear sign that IAC was not focussing only on the Congress, its members staged similar demonstrations in various state capitals including Jaipur, Bhopal, Bangalore, Mumbai and Bhubaneshwar, IAC said in a statement.
Both Kejriwal and lawyer-cum-IAC leader Prashant Bhushan accused police of using force without provocation.
Kejriwal said the protests were "a success" and had driven home the point that both the Congress and BJP were to blame for the irregular coal blocks allocation -- an issue that has crippled parliament.
"We have exposed the real face of the government," Kejriwal told a defiant crowd drenched by water. "We have shown that both the Congress and BJP have looted this country."
Around 2.30 pm, more than seven hours after it all began, he formally called off the protests although small leaderless groups continued to face the police at both venues.
Late in the evening, Kejriwal tweeted that "this political revolution would sweep the whole country in times to come".
The biggest show of strength by IAC since Team Anna was disbanded August 6 clearly took Delhi Police by surprise as they were outnumbered after noon when the number of demonstrators suddenly surged.
Hundreds were detained and forced into waiting buses.
Kejriwal said the "political alternative" started by Anna Hazare would be a party "under law but it would be a political revolution in practice".
Early in the morning, police detained Kejriwal and six activists but released them after about two hours from a police station when hundreds of supporters gathered shouting slogans.
Kejriwal was stopped near a police barricade close to Manmohan Singh's residence with two others.
After the group was let off, Kejriwal made it to Jantar Mantar and vowed to return to Manmohan Singh's residence -- which he did.
Kejriwal asked why the government was stopping them. "The Congress and BJP hold so many protests. They are never stopped. If we protest quietly, why are we detained?"
By noon, hundreds, some waving the Indian flag, proceeded towards the houses of the prime minister and the Congress president. There were scuffles as police tried to control the charged activists.
At his village in Maharashtra, Anna Hazare said the Congress and other parties were equally corrupt and that only honest people should be elected to Parliament.
(With additional inputs from PTI, IANS)