Hazare shows who is boss
April 09, 2011 7:07:23 AM
Sidharth Mishra/Parvaiz Sultan | New Delhi
On day four of the fast in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill, Kisan Baburao Hazare took firm control of the movement in his hands deciding on the contours of the negotiated settlement with the Government. Setting aside rivalry between the second rung leaders of the movement, Hazare had held back the names of the people who would be there on the committee as nominees of the civil society.
The day began with former cop Kiran Bedi showing up at the dharna site and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal ‘clarifying’ that there was no difference of opinion among the negotiators and that Bedi was not present for two days due to poor health. However, no sooner than the announcement was made, Swami Agnivesh, another key person of the movement, broke ranks and went to meet Congress leaders all alone to find a solution.
With Government toughening its stand on Thursday, Hazare realised that there was need to give a push lest it gets mired in internal differences. It was on his intervention that Swami Ramdev, who had till now kept away from the dharna site, agreed to come and provide requisite momentum. Though Ramdev’s volunteers have been integral to the movement, the Yoga Guru had been maintaining distance.
With crowd swelling, a more confident Hazare by the evening decided to take the proceedings in his own hands. He ensured that Kiran Bedi joined Kejriwal and Agnivesh for the third round of talks with Government negotiators Kapil Sibal, Veerappa Moily and Salman Khursheed. With the negotiators away, Hazare addressed the media all alone at 6 pm and made his agenda clear that he was ready for a negotiated settlement but respectable to both the Government and the agitators.
When it was pointed out to him about the infighting, he said, “Movement is important. Both Kejriwal and Agnivesh can leave if they cannot sink their differences.”
He also made amply clear his affection for Ramdev and skirted a question on how did he allow the Yoga Guru, whose intention to join politics is a known fact, share dais with him.
In defending the Yoga Guru, he even became soft on politicians, “They have not come from abroad. They are after all our countrymen.”
Towards the end of the Press conference, he issued a stern warning to the negotiators, “I have conveyed to our team which has gone for negotiations not to bow before the Government. I ask them to hold their head high. It is not a voice of Anna, it is voice of the people. I have asked them to maintain their self-respect.” Thereafter, he went on to assure the crowd that he was in good health and could continue his fast for a few more days.
Late in the evening he carried out his warning to the team of negotiators by refusing to end his fast. At the end of the talks, Agnivesh had once again jumped the gun by announcing to the media that their role as negotiator was over and that Anna would make the announcement at Jantar Mantar.
Anna did take the stage at Jantar Mantar, talked to former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan, who was made the co-chairman of the panel, and announced he would give his decision on the Government on drafting the Bill on Saturday morning, making it amply clear who was the boss. http://dailypioneer.com/330424/Hazare-s ... -boss.html