Anna spills his Salman secret
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Anna Hazare on Wednesday confirmed that he met Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid at a spiritual centre 62 km away on June 23.
He said that it was Khurshid who had approached him, through Shiv Sena MP Rajkumar Dhoot, for back-channel talks on the Lokpal Bill. He said he didn't speak about the meeting earlier because Khurshid had put a condition of confidentiality.
Speaking at a press conference in the presence of Arvind Kejriwal, Hazare said he was forced to disclose the meeting and its details because it became clear to him that the secret meeting was a conspiracy of the Union government to create a rift in Team Anna.
Hazare's aides also circulated copies of a three-page letter he wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday about the meeting, the alleged betrayal and the government's ploy to create a rift within the team. He also wrote that he would not meet anyone in the government in the future and would continue the campaign against corruption.
"The government had sent Salman Khurshid sahab to hold secret negotiations with me so that I do not participate in the July 25 and August 9 fasts," alleged Hazare, who started his letter to the PM by saying that he intended to participate in both.
"I got a message from Khurshid saying that he wanted to meet me as the government was willing to pass a Lokpal Bill as per our suggestions. He said that they were willing to incorporate all our important suggestions on the citizen's charter, Lokayukta in states, bringing lower bureaucracy in the ambit of the Lokpal, CBI's independence etc. I thought there was no harm in taking two steps back. So keeping in mind the larger public good, I accepted this invitation," said Hazare.
"Khurshid said that after meeting me, he would talk to the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. When they agree (on the changes), then a press conference would be held," he said.
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