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Don't create rift between government, civil society: Khurshid

Tuesday October 25, 2011 07:19:36 PM, IANS

New Delhi: A day after veteran activist Anna Hazare blamed the government for trying to defame his team members, Law Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday cautioned against creating a divide between the government and civil society.

"I don't think we should talk through media. I will not say anything, I will only say whosoever tries to create a distance between the civil society and the government is not doing any favour," Khurshid said in reply to questions on Hazare's comment.

Hazare, on his blog Monday, accused a "Gang of Four" of trying to defame Team Anna members, without taking any names.

Khurshid said: "Please don't create greater distance between the civil society and us."

Later, he told reporters that he was not aware of who the "Gang of Four" in the government were.

"The government is committed to strengthening the anti-corruption laws and measures. The Lokpal bill is now under the consideration of the parliamentary standing committee and it has sought views on the bill from all sections of society," he said, assuring that the bill will come up before parliament in the next session.

"The government is reaching out to everybody to have an effective and robust anti-corruption measures," he added.

On Hazare's charges that there was an attempt to defame his team members, Khurshid disagreed with the activist.

Key Team Anna members have been amidst controversies recently. Former police officer Kiran Bedi has been accused of giving inflated claims for her travel expenses.

In his latest post, Hazare, who has taken a vow of silence for the past few days, said that if the government felt that Bedi had used the money for personal gains, it should probe the matter and "take stringent action against her if found guilty".

Another Team Anna member, Arvind Kejriwal, has been accused of not giving an account of Rs.70-80 lakh donations collected at Hazare's fast in Ramlila ground in August. Another Hazare team member, Prashant Bhushan, recently came under attack when he favoured a plebiscite in Kashmir.





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