Kiran Bedi refuses to answer queries on inflated bills row

Kiran Bedi
Mumbai, Oct 24: Team Anna member Kiran Bedi, who is facing criticism over inflated travel bills, on Monday refused to reply questions related to the issue. The former IPS officer, who was on a short visit to the city to accept an award honouring her for social work, stoutly declined to comment on the controversy.

"You are at the wrong place," Bedi told mediapersons. She was replying to queries on her tweets earlier in the day that the money overcharged by her NGO for her travel expenses would be returned.

"I am here to accept the Kriyasheel Award presented to me by the Sadguru Mangeshda Kriya Yoga Foundation for social work and do not want the event to be diluted and mixed up with something personal. For me this award is like a rose with thorns. Here is the rose and thorns are left behind. I feel blessed," she said at the award venue in suburban Bandra.

The Magsaysay Award winner maintained she was in Mumbai to accept the award which was her focus and not a press conference. "If you want to speak to me, it will be in Delhi."

Bedi said the award has come to her by destiny.

"The timing is so interesting. It's like a blessing...I needed to do better and more. I am on a path of higher mission for this country and it is a time-bound mission. We must get what we are fighting for by the winter session," she said, referring to the Lokpal Bill.

To a question on whether her tweet, that she will return the money her NGO overcharged from various hosts, was an admission of guilt, Bedi replied, "when I start explaining, the whole issue will get diverted. I am not replying to your questions because this is not the right place and not because I don't have answers. I have answers to all the queries."

Asked about Congress leader Digvijay Singh's comments that whether 2G scam accused A Raja's mistakes can be washed off if he returns the money like her, Bedi merely said she was at a 'pavitra' (sacred) place right now.

To another question on the estimated amount of money that will be returned by her NGO, she said, "I have already said this is not the place to answer such questions."

When mediapersons asked spiritual guru Sri Sri Mangeshda, who heads the foundation, whether the organisation has funded Bedi's travel to Mumbai, he replied, "she has come on her own".

Apart from Bedi, the other winners of the Kriyasheel Global Awards were renowned poet Mangesh Padgaonkar, well-known agriculturist Bhavarlal Jain and inspirational speaker Kia Scherr, who lost her husband and daughter in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.


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