New Delhi, Oct 1: Activist Swami Agnivesh, who fell out with Team Anna during Lokpal agitation, today sought to give a new twist to the controversy surrounding a CD that purportedly showed him talking to Union Minister Kapil Sibal, claiming that he was speaking to a spiritual guru whom he calls “Kapilji” and not the minister.
“N K Sharma was the one with whom I was talking. I address him as Kapilji maharaj. He is a religious man and associated with Sankaracharya of Dwarka Pith and Badrinath and is also an adviser to Kapil Sibal and the Government,” Agnivesh told reporters here.
Agnivesh, who was in the Anna Hazare camp, was caught in a controversy after a CD surfaced purportedly showing him slamming Hazare and asking Government to be tough on his agitation.
He had then claimed that the man on the other end of the line was Haridwar-based Kapil Maharaj. The man in question had, however, denied that he ever had such a conversation. Talking about Sharma, Agnivesh today said when the Hazare's agitation started, “Sharma had come to me saying I should come forward so that a dialogue process could start. I tried to carry forward the dialogue process with his support. “He was there with us till the end,” he told reporters here.
Asked why he did not disclose Sharma's name earlier itself, Agnivesh said he did not do so because he was deeply hurt by the “smear campaign” launched against him. “There were people inside who did it (referring to the CD). I felt deeply hurt. I said someone from the Kejriwal team have done this.
“I want to know why the CD was leaked the day when Anna Hazare broke his fast. They should have sought a clarification from me,” he said.
Agnivesh claimed Sharma had spoken to Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan about their leaked conversation and that Bhushan was satisfied with the explanation.
Asked if he spoke Anna Hazare about his conversation with Sharma, Agnivesh said, “I introduced Sharmaji to Prashant Bhushan here a day before Team Anna met in Ralegan Siddhi on September 10 and 11 and said it was he with whom I was speaking.
“Bhushan spoke to him for about an hour. He was satisfied and conveyed this to Anna.”
He said he was disturbed over the fact that the campaign by Hazare was continuing despite appeal by Parliament and the Prime Minister and the commitment by the government to table the Lokpal Bill in the Monsoon session. “Anna should have broken his fast when Parliament and Prime Minister appealed to him. Parliament had also agreed to discuss the Lokpal issue,” he said.
However, he made it clear that some words used by him were “never intended for Anna Hazare as I hold him in high regard and will continue to support his campaign against corruption”. But he remained evasive to a poser on whether he would like to rejoin as member of the core committee. “Core committee is an amorphous concept.
I have always participated in anti-corruption movement. I carried out fast at Rajghat in 1991. I was in the JP movement in 1974 and voiced support for Lokpal back in 1996.”
He hoped that by the end of the Winter Session of Parliament, the county would have an effective legislation to combat corruption. PTI