It happened again. After (Waterman) Rajendra Singh; (Boss of Indian NGO, Gandhi Peace Foundation) Rajagopal and (Spiritual Leader and Social Activist) Swami Agnivesh, it was now the turn of Mufti Shameen Kazmi, the only Muslim face of the Anna Team to part ways with the latter.Agnivesh was expelled during last year’s agitation at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan as he allegedly “passed on information to the government”. Rajinder Singh and PV Rajagopal had resigned last year following differences over the way in which decisions were being taken. And now Mufti Shameen Kazmi.Kazmi said, “Anna ji is a good man but most of his close associates are cunning... Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia had turned “authoritarian...I have been with the movement since the beginning... Anna is a good man. But Kejriwal and Sisodia are using Anna Hazare for their own purpose.”Characteristically, Kazmi’s sentiments are shared by the other three who were either expelled or disassociated themselves from Team Anna. All of them appear to revere Anna Hazare and detest the Kejriwal-Sisodia duo, who they term “arrogant and authoritarian”.And why won’t they? India against Corruption (IAC) is only a shell organization with no legal status. All the money raised by whipping public hysteria on supposedly fighting corruption is grabbed by the Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), a NGO controlled by Kejriwal-Sisodia duo. Additionally, the Kejriwal-Sisodia duo’s pockets run deep through control of Kabir, a NGO liberally funded by US based Ford Foundation and other international agencies. It is not as if Anna Hazare does not have a NGO. He in fact has a whole network of them. If so, why should any movement claiming Anna Hazare as their mascot not have their fund based on any of his own NGOs and instead opt for the PCRF?The reasons are not far to search. As the old adage reminds us - he who pays the piper calls the tune. It gives credence to increasing public perception that Anna Hazare is just a convenient face which the Kejriwal-Sisodia duo conveniently exploits for pursuing their hidden agendas. By virtue of controlling the finances, they control the so called “movement”. This may explain the “arrogance and authoritative” tendencies that those who were either expelled or disassociated themselves from Team Anna complain about.So why was Kazmi thrown out of Team Anna. Kumar Vishwas and Shazia Ilmi, core team members of Anna Hazare alleged that Kazmi had been thrown out of the group because he was “found recording” the proceedings on his mobile phone.“Qasmiji was reluctant to show us his phone. But when he gave it to us, we found three audio clips of the meeting Vishwas said...We sought an explanation and asked him not to attend the meeting for a couple of days. But he left the meeting and told the media another story.”Team Anna sources later said that Kazmi was secretly recording the proceedings of the core committee meeting using his mobile phone. They believed that he was sending the recorded audio to some journalists. Kejriwal said Qasmi had tried to do what Swami Agnivesh had done last year."Information was being leaked out. We realised a lot of what was happening was being fed to the media. A member saw that the meeting was being recorded and asked him to stop recording and leave," said Kiran Bedi, a member of Team Anna.Here was the Anna Team publicly displaying their hypocrisy most vividly. They demand that their negotiations with the government on their so called “Jan Lokpal Bill”, be televised live for the nation to see but they are not willing to accept similar transparency standards for their own team meetings. According to media reports, they deleted the clips Kazmi had recorded before physically throwing him out of the venue of the meeting. Showing no remorse, Anna Hazare in Delhi yesterday told reporters: "Will be alert now to ensure that internal talks are not leaked...will even do checks of all members...There are some people who behave in this way.”
This brings us to the question what transpires in the so called Jan Lokpal Bill meetings that the committee members do not want to be revealed? Kazmi through various media reports give us some insight what these issues were:a. Misuse of Public DonationsKazmi was reportedly quoted as saying:“A majority of Team Anna members are cunning and they were misusing the funds meant for strengthening the Lokpal movement....They are misusing the funds collected by the organizers of the India against Corruption movement. If anyone conducts a thorough scrutiny of the funds, he will know that there are gross irregularities in the management of public funds...Kazmi claimed that in the meeting, Hazare asked Kejriwal some pointed questions about auditing of accounts."He could not answer. Prashant Bhushan could not answer. Anna was unhappy with all these. These people themselves are corrupt. How will they run the movement," he said adding that (Kiran) Bedi, however, was honest.“Annaji was in full form. He was asking (Team Anna members) Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia to give an account of the money spent on the meetings held in Mumbai and at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi...An estimated sum of Rs 28 lakh (Rs 2.8 million) was spent on the rally in Mumbai, and Annaji wanted an account of it.”b. Kejriwal-Sisodia duo functioning independently of the core teamSince the Kejriwal-Sisodia duo controls the finances of the IAC and Anna Hazare just used their face, they feel no necessity for subjecting themselves to the collective process of the team. According to Kazmi:“He also questioned Arvind Kejriwal about the tour to Himachal Pradesh he undertook. Annaji asked Kejriwal if he had put forward his plans of touring Himachal Pradesh before the core committee members.He (Kisan Baburao 'Anna' Hazare) questioned Kejriwal as to how he could go on such tours without seeking the approval of all the committee members.”c. Politicization of Team AnnaIf you think that Team Anna members are apolitical, then think again. According to Kazmi:“Kumar Vishwas even stood up in the meeting today (on Sunday) and said the movement will not be successful unless and until we get the Muslims together with us...Kejriwal said to him that he (Kumar Vishwas) was acting as the middlemen for chief ministers. CM ki dalali kar raha hai'.”Meanwhile, another Anna Team last night on TimesNow TV revealed that Kazmi was spreading rumours that Prashant Bhushan had set his eyes as Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh! If so we can imagine what Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kiran Bedi are politically aspiring to be!Whatever the truth, what’s a fact is that Prashant Bhushan was recently in an eye of a storm being accused for receiving a Tea Estate from the Himachal Pradesh government to one of his trusts in violation of several laws! Yes you heard it right - a developed Tea Estate worth hundreds of crores!The owner of the land, a resident of Kamlehar (Palampur) village was granted permission to transfer this tea garden to Bhushan's society in relaxation of sections 6-A and 7-A of the HP Ceiling Act, 1972 and the society was also allowed "change in land use”.Under section 6 A of the Ceiling Act, "if the land exempted under Ceiling Act is put without the permission of the State Government to any other use than raising or maintenance of tea plantation or a purpose subservient to tea plantation, it shall be treated as surplus area and shall be deemed to have been acquired by the state government for a public purpose".The tea estates were exempted under the Ceiling Act on the basis of their nomenclature as "tea gardens".d. Personal image build up swamps fight against corruptionThe difference between Anna Hazare and Team Anna becomes very evident when the former took the initiative to plan for a joint anti-corruption with Baba Ramdev. Anna is of the opinion that all those who want to fight corruption should coordinate their action. But this step was shot down by Team Anna. Kazmi tell us why?“There was some discontent as Kejriwal wanted to know why Annaji had gone to meet Baba Ramdev without telling him... Annaji is a very simple and noble man, but in my workings with the group for the past year, I feel Kejriwal is very disrespectful about him...I feel they (Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia) just want to highlight themselves in the media. They just want to have their own way and they are not willing to listen to anybody else... Actually, only four members of Team Anna hog all the limelight. In fact, there are nearly 16, 17 people in the core committee, but they are never (seen) in the media. So many people don't even know that the core committee has members beyond 4, 5 people.”Mufti Shameen Kazmi’s exit and expose of Team Anna maybe conveniently dismissed as those of a disgruntled person. But what about the voices of the likes of Rajendra Singh, Rajagopal or Swami Agnivesh? In fact, we can ask what about the voices of the likes of Raju Parulekar, Anna’s personal blogger who was forced to leave Team Anna? More significantly all these dissidents speak the same language. They revere Anna while lambast Kejriwal-Sisodia duo for being arrogant and authoritative.The movement which once caught the imagination of the people of India is now at its death bed.