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Nora Chopra is a senior journalist with a finger on the pulse of the Indian political scene

Khurshid book claims anna was ready to campaign for Congress

Illustrations by Sandeep Adhwaryu

In his upcoming book, The Other Side of the Mountain, former Union minister Salman Khurshid of the Congress claims that Arvind Kejriwal broke off ties with Anna Hazare after finding out the latter's secret deal to campaign for the Congress. Khurshid writes that as law minister, he had approached Anna for a meeting. Anna agreed to the meeting on the condition that nobody was to know about it. When Kiran Bedi wanted to go with Anna, the anti-corruption crusader apparently told her that he was going to meet a saint, and that he had been told to come alone. Khurshid claims that when he asked about this, Anna simply said, "There is no harm in sometimes lying for the sake of the nation." Khurshid too apparently was economical with the truth to get rid of his SPG. He told them his wife's aunt had died and he did not want to take the SPG to the funeral. At the meeting, Khurshid claims, Anna agreed to campaign for the Congress, provided Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited him to do so in writing. Since Singh was reluctant, V. Narayanasamy, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, wrote the letter. However, the letter was delivered to Arvind Kejriwal by mistake. An infuriated Kejriwal went on to break ties with Anna, claims Khurshid. Salman Khurshid himself narrated all this to journalists covering the Congress.

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