Anna to include tribals, minorities in his team

Ralegan Siddhi: With his team rocked by controversies, Anna Hazare on Monday said he plans to restructure his core committee to also give representation to religious minorities, tribals, dalits and youths to strengthen the campaign against corruption.

Hazare also hit out at the UPA government for targeting the key members of his team, alleging that those who are threatened by the Lokpal movement are attacking his supporters and close aides and trying to break his team.

"They fear that their political career will be jeopardized if a strong Lokpal mechanism comes into effect," he told reporters at his native village.

The social activist`s move to restructure his core team came against the backdrop of allegations that he was being misguided and used by his team members to fulfill their political agenda. Some key members in Team Anna – Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal – also faced alleged financial irregularities.

"We will take all sections in the Core Committee, Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and all others. Nobody should complain that they were not given a chance," the anti-corruption crusader said. "Even youth will be well represented. Youth`s power in Committee is extremely necessary. Youths from different communities will be picked for the Committee," he added.

Hazare recalled that when the core committee was formed there were complaints from some sections they were not not given representation. "That committee was for two-and-a-half months. But the committee that we will form now will be for a much longer period," he added.

Hazare said he and his team will not be cowed down by anyone and challenged the government to show any evidence of misconduct or irregularities committed by his team members. "We have nothing to fear. The government is free to conduct any investigation against any of our team members but our fight against corruption will continue. Do the inquiry not once but four times," he added.

Bedi is under the scanner regarding some inflated air travel bills while Kejriwal faced allegations of diverting funds to his trust. Plagued by controversies, Team Anna is also approaching retired judges requesting them to become part of a committee to be set up the civil society to probe the allegations against some of its members.