Kejriwal leaves fast venue after snub by Ramdev

New Delhi: Ramdev-Anna Hazare combine today suffered a crack at the top when Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal made an abrupt exit from the joint fast venue of the activists after the yoga guru virtually snubbed him for taking names and making personal attacks on politicians.

Both the sides downplayed the incident claiming that Kejriwal, who is a diabetic, left the venue due to his health condition and there were no differences between the two groups which had come together two months ago after a year. As he wound up the fast, Ramdev, who attacked UPA on the issue of corruption and blackmoney, vowed to launch a fresh agitation in August to press for action to bring back black money stashed abroad.

The drama unfolded at Jantar Mantar, the fast venue, immediately after Kejriwal attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues whom Team Anna had accused of indulging in corruption and mentioned the names of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati.

Ramdev picked up the microphone and said "today, we thought that we will not take any body`s name. But Arvind took the names…We don`t want any controversies. Arvind does not have any enmity with anyone. The names have been taken in some context. We are against personal criticism," he said. In his speech later, Hazare appeared to defend Kejriwal and mentioned his close aide`s speech. "Arvind has just said people with cases against them are sitting in Parliament…to stop this, we must use right to reject," he said without elaborating.

However, he refuted suggestions about a rift in Team Anna or any misunderstanding with Ramdev and said the movement`s strength has increased with the association of the yoga guru. Kejriwal also sought to play down the controversy and tweeted, "I had to leave fast venue because I am very unwell. I told this to Anna and Swamiji. It is wrong to say that I left in protest…I have greatest respect for swamiji."