New Delhi: Swami Agnivesh, a close associate of Anna Hazare, was the target of the core Anna team which attacked him over a controversial video posted on ‘youtube´ where he is purportedly telling a person alleged to be a union minister that government act tough with the fasting Gandhian.
Agnivesh on his part claimed the video footage was “doctored and concoted” and part of a smear campaign against him and denied he was talking to union minister Kapil Sibal. The minister was involved in negotiations during the intitial stages of the stand-off between Team Anna and the Government.
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi alleged that Agnivesh has been caught on camera where he is asking a person after addressing him as “Kapil”, “Maharaj aap inko itna kyu de rahe hai(Maharaj, why are you giving them so much?).
“Who’s Maharaj? whether it is Kapil Sibal on the other side. He said Sibal sahab, I heard that,” she said.
Bedi accused Agnivesh of being absolutely unethical. The core Anna Team and Agnivesh had developed differences during the course of Hazare’s fast.
Bedi told PTI that the footage has “shocked us all and we are very uncomfortable” with it.
“Only he can answer this. He should own it or reject. However it leaves no doubt. It obviously tell us what happened. He should tell us who is the person whom he mentioned in this,” she added.
Agnivesh said, “These were lies and it is a cut and paste job. There are several people in my personal circle whose first name is Kapil. I never address political leaders as ‘Maharaj´. Kapil Maharaj could be anyobody” he said without disclosing the identity of the person whom he was seen talking to on the video footage.
In the video, Agnivesh is seen coming out of the ground floor of a building, which could not be identified, talking over phone.
He was heard talking about Parliament’s appeal to Hazare to end his fast and the Gandhian’s insistence on continuing with his hunger strike.
Agnivesh allegedly said that what the other side was doing against the government was not proper.
He purportedly tells the person on the other side that government should not concede anything and deal firmly as they were toughening their stand whenever government is conceding something.
In the video, Agnivesh also referred to Parliament’s appeal and said that if Hazare is not ending his fast even after a “big appeal” from the whole Parliament, then it was not good.