Stepping up attack on Kiran Bedi, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas today accused her of trying to influence Team Anna against targeting BJP during the Lokpal movement on alleged graft while the party held her “soft stance towards BJP” for parting of ways with Arvind Kejriwal.
Kumar Vishwas claimed Bedi attempted to influence AAP leaders including Kejriwal so as to ensure that alleged graft by BJP governments in the states ruled by it was not highlighted.
“After the coal scam came to light, we held protests outside residences of then PM Manmohan Singh, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhiji and had protested outside Nitin Gadkari’s house also. Bedi, who was scheduled to join in protest outside Gadkari’s residence, did not turn up,” Biswas told reporters here.
Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said Bedi’s past actions prove that she have always had a “soft corner” for BJP.
“It was one of the issues (leading to parting ways). It’s an open fact that when we protested against Gadkari, Bedi didn’t turn up. So somewhere she has always had a soft corner for BJP,” Singh told PTI.
To lend credence to his claims, the senior AAP leader cited Bedi’s “absence” from a number of India Against Corruption (IAC)-led agitations during the height of the anti-graft movement.
“The distance between the two was created after these incidents. If you remember Bedi also didn’t turn up during IAC’s movement against coal scam. AAP was not even formed then,” he said.
On being asked the reason behind the party offering the CM candidature to Bedi before the 2013 Delhi Assembly polls after being aware of her supposed predisposition towards BJP, Singh said the party raised the issues with her after that.
“We offered but also raised the issues with her. An AAP party member will have to protest against coal scam, 2G scam, CWG. I think she didn’t agree with the issues raised by our party. Clearly she liked BJP more,” Singh said.
Congress leader Manish Tewari attacked both Kejriwal and Bedi and said both they were selectively targetting Congress during anti-graft movement.
“They were cherry picking and they were not prepared to talk about the alleged mining scam in Karnataka during BJP’s rule. How can even AAP claim to be an anti-BJP force when there were rumours that India Against Corruption was a B-team of BJP,” he said.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said AAP was now “trying to make politically motivated allegations. Arvind Kejriwal needs to answer why he lobbied so hard with Digvijaya Singh to get a place in Sonia Gandhi’s national advisory Council.”
When asked whether she tried to influence Team Anna against attacking BJP, Bedi chose not to reply.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said that things were now getting clear that “Kejriwal, Bedi and Gen V K Singh were pursuading Anna Hazare to be soft on BJP and to speak only against the Congress.”
“Arvind Kejriwal must explain why AAP leaders had refrained from attacking BJP and only targeted Congress. It proves that the AAP leaders had links with BJP even during the Lokpal movement,” Maken contended.
When asked to comment about Vishwas’s charges, Union Minister General (retd.) V K Singh said he was not party of India Against Corruption and called the AAP leader as “deceitful”.
“I was never part of India Against Corruption. I was in service in 2012 and I retired only in end May so where am I a part of it.
“My association with Anna is only by offering him water and if Kumar Vishwas does not remember, there are much more things I can tell about him where he has been deceitful, untrustworthy and someone who can only concoct stories” the Minister said.
Addressing a press conference here, AAP leader Ashutosh said the party was not a “private limited company” with a “high command” culture like that of the Congress.
“We are a democratic party. We don’t have high command culture like that in Congress, LJP and other parties. AAP is not a private limited company. We will discuss the issues raised by him in the party,” he said.