Team Anna justifies demand for probe against Pranab

New Delhi: Days after UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee questioned Team Anna`s ethical behaviour, the group today sought to justify their contention in a letter which significantly did not carry the signature of Anna Hazare.

The Team Anna response came five days after Mukherjee`s office send a letter to them, including Hazare, rejecting their allegations against him as "unfair" and "self-seeking" and it reflected lack of responsibility while claiming to represent high standards of ethical behaviour.

In its response, Team Anna maintained there was a need for an independent investigation into the allegations against him as a person aspiring to be the President "should be above board". It also said it was "unfortunate that your response conceals and distorts facts at several places". The Team Anna letter was signed by Shanti Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Kumar Biswas, Manish Sisodia and Chandramohan.

Significantly, the reply does not bear the signature of Hazare, who has made a flip flop on Mukherjee. Initially, he appeared to support him saying he is better than other UPA ministers but a day later he changed his tune saying he has come across some allegations against him. Normally important letters from Team Anna are signed by Hazare, Bhushans, Kejriwal, Bedi and Sisodia but in today`s communication two names — Vishwas and Chandramohan — appear for the first time.

When asked, a Team Anna member said the communication was sent to Hazare and nothing much should be read into it. Mukherjee`s response to Team Anna came at a time when he has been fielded as a candidate for the post of the President.