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Saturday, 17 September 2011

At Congress meet, flak directed at Anna movement

NAGPUR: Alarmed over overwhelming support to Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption, Congress leaders chose to blast the civil society in order to enthuse their cadres for civic elections in 2012. Mohan Prakash, Congress in-charge for the state, alleged that NRI's protests against corruption in foreign countries was aimed at tarnishing India's image in international arena.

Prakash, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, wondered why the civil society activists were mum on Gujarat government's reaction to appointment of a lokayukta. He repeatedly invoked the name of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, an icon of Dalits, to denounce the civil society movement. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and other Congress ministers, addressing the convention of Congress office bearers of Vidarbha's local bodies at Deshpande Hall, also slammed Anna's supporters. They questioned BJP's credentials to make allegations of corruption against UPA. Ramdeo Baba also drew flak from them.

The party had organized the convention in view of coming elections of zilla parishads, municipal councils and corporations in 2012. In spite of series of scams, Prakash claimed that Congress was the most honest party in the country. "These intellectuals conveniently ignore the contribution of our party in development of our country. We have empowered the Dalits, Muslims, backward classes and marginalized and backward classes," he said.

"The country has seen amazing progress under Congress. In 1950, it had only 80,000 telephone connections. Now there are 85 crore mobile and landline connections. How can somebody ignore such facts," he asked. The leader stressed that the party was committed to eradication of corruption in the country but did not explain how this would be done.

Without naming BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, Prakash said that those who spend crores on a three day mega wedding should not talk about corruption. "Everybody knows whose private aircraft landed in Nagpur to save Jharkhand government," he said.

Prakash issued a veiled threat to city's top Congress leaders, who were instrumental in party's abysmal show in 2007 civic elections, to stop infighting. "I appeal to you bury your differences. If Vilas Muttemwar, Nitin Raut, Anees Ahmed and Satish Chaturvedi can do so I think everybody else can," he said.


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