Amid sparring between Team Anna and Congress on the Lokpal issue, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said there should be no encouragement for discord between civil society and government.

“Things will be said and people would think that they should say something. I don’t think we should engage in a dialogue of this kind through the media,” Mr. Khurshid said.

“Please don’t try to create greater difference between civil society and the government... Whoever tries to create difference between civil society and the government is not working in the interest of the society,” he said.

Noting that the two sides have enough channels for direct communication, he said, “I am sure we have a lot of channels by which we can talk directly. I don’t think we should encourage discord and distance between civil society and government.”

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh had on Monday ridiculed Kiran Bedi’s statement that money she had overcharged from NGOs and other hosts would be returned, saying that by this yardstick if corrupt people give back money, they too should be absolved of their crimes.

Anna Hazare had on Monday defended Ms. Bedi from the allegations of “air travel corruption” and accused a “gang of four” in the government of being behind the campaign against his team.

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