Soon after P.S. Gopala and Rajendra Singh reportedly announced that they would quit Team Anna, team member Kiran Bedi said here on Tuesday that those who had volunteered into the team, may always opt out.
“Team Anna is a team of volunteers and volunteers are coming with movements of their own. Some have concerns about agriculture, others about water, tribals or human rights. When you volunteer, you can always volunteer out for your own personal reasons,” Ms. Bedi said on the sidelines of a programme at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Ms. Bedi said the two did not say why there were leaving. Asked whether they left because of activist Arvind Kejriwal, she said these were rumours. “I do not go by hearsay,” she observed.
According to reports, Mr. Rajagopal and Mr. Singh quit the core committee of Team Anna, objecting to the “political turn” the movement had taken. It is believed that they were upset with the team campaigning against the Congress in the Hisar by-election.
On the debate over Team Anna's effect on the by-election, Ms. Bedi said the purpose was to tell people to elect a Member of Parliament “who takes your vote and then votes for your Bill (Jan Lokpal Bill).”
“This was our purpose and it has been accomplished. The people have got the MP of a party, the party president of which has said that it will support the Jan Lokpal Bill,” she said.
To a query on reports that the Congress is planning to launch a front ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh to counter any impact Team Anna may have in chipping away votes, Ms. Bedi said: “the Congress does not need any morcha. Just introduce Jan Lokpal Bill and the whole country will be with you and thankful for it.”
Ms. Bedi said she will join Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia in the campaign in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
“We want to remind the people that without Jan Lokpal Bill there will be no freedom from corruption. The Janlokpal Bill and a stronger Lokayukta will benefit Uttar Pradesh,” she said.
She said Team Anna would meet Chief Election Commissioner S. Y. Quraishi on the issue of “right to recall.”