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Monday, 17 October 2011

Anna silent to avoid questions on Bhushan, Yeddy: Digvijay

LUCKNOW: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Sunday alleged that Anna Hazare's decision to observe maun vrat (vow to maintain silence) is primarily aimed at avoiding uncomfortable questions on the arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and on Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan's statement on Kashmir.

Singh told reporters that Kashmir is an integral part of India and the government should look into whether or not a case of sedition can be lodged against Bhushan's statement on plebiscite in Kashmir to allow it to be free. He even gave credit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for taking an initiative for a strong Lokpal and hinted that the Lokpal Bill examined by the parliamentary committee would be different from Team Anna's version.

Singh also said that the Congress in its manifesto for 2009 parliamentary elections had promised to bring a strong Lokpal to curb corruption. "And on the request of Congress president, civil society members Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander have prepared a Lokpal Bill. A Lokpal not answerable to anybody, but with powers to register complaint, conduct probe and pronounce punishment is dangerous for democracy," Singh said.

The former Madhya Pradesh CM also said that Team Anna dropped its demands to bring prime minister and judges under Lokpal's ambit and autonomous status for CBI. "The Parliament agreed to include his demand of bringing all government employees under Lokpal, citizen charter of all government departments and a model Lokayukta Bill for the states." He said. Singh reiterated that the RSS is behind Anna's agitation. However, he avoided question that has he any proof to show that Anna sought help from RSS. He said that RSS leader Ram Madhav shared dais with Anna and Team Anna thanked BJP for supporting agitation. Singh, however, congratulated former Karnataka Lokayukta and Team Anna member Justice Santosh Hegde for indicting Yeddyurappa in a corruption case.

The AICC general secretary also said that Tejindar Singh Bagga, the person who attacked Bhushan, though is said to be member of Ram Sene and Bhagat Singh Kranti Dal, is actually a member of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. When pointed out that attack on Team Anna members by people affiliated to Sangh Parivar implies that RSS is not behind Anna, Singh laughed and said, "The RSS got angry because Anna dumped it after using in the agitation."

Singh also raised question over Anna's stand to campaign against Congress in elections. He said, "Team Anna campaigned against Congress candidate in Hisar Lok Sabha by-election. In Hisar, the public sympathy is with Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Vikas Party, as the seat was held by his late father. However, team Anna did not go to assembly by-elections for Khadakwasla (Pune) seat, which is close to Anna's native place."

When asked about Ralegan Siddhi's sarpanch proposed meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Hazare's announcement that he will support Congress if it bring strong Jan Lokpal, Singh said that he was not aware of the details, but if it is so, he welcomes it.


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