A day after some signs of rapprochement, the rift between Anna Hazare and Aam Aadmi Party today came into the open at his fast venue with an AAP member clashing with former army chief V K Singh, who accused them of betraying the Gandhian.
The simmering bitterness aggravated to such an extent after Singh slammed AAP leaders for "deserting" the anti-graft campaigner and taking the political plunge that Hazare ordered the fledgling party's representative at the venue Gopal Rai to leave the village.
It all started when Singh, a key Team Anna member after retiring from service, began castigating AAP leaders without naming them for parting ways with Hazare and floating a political outfit.
"When Annaji raised the voice for Jan Lokpal, many people rallied behind him but later left him. Today, they say it is because of them that there is Annaji and not because there is Annaji that they are there. Nobody can undermine something that Annaji has created.
"Today, if we have to take our nation forward, we need to unite and not float separate groups and separate parties," Singh said, setting off a verbal duel with Rai.
Rai, who was seated among the audience and observing a fast since yesterday when an AAP team dispatched by its leader Arvind Kejriwal met Hazare, joined issue with Singh, calling him an "agent" of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
As the two engaged in a heated arguments, Hazare, whose hunger strike for passage in Parliament of Jan Lokpal Bill entered its fourth day today, took the mike and started berating Rai.
"You were told not to join the fast but you did. Now people are asking you not to interrupt the (Singh's) speech and you are interrupting. If you have to create a ruckus, you leave the village. Don't sit here. It is not proper to interrupt people when they are speaking," Hazare said, chastising Rai.