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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cong rebuffs Anna, says no to Lokpal undertaking

NEW DELHI: Congress rebuffed Anna Hazare's demand for a written undertaking on Lokpal bill, arguing that such commitment on behalf of Parliament would be tantamount to degrading the high institution.

Hazare said he would withdraw his "defeat Congress" call in elections if the party gave him a letter promising the enactment of Lokpal bill in Parliament's winter session, like BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has written to him.

AICC spokesman Rashid Alvi said Congress had made a public commitment on the bill which was now with Parliament's standing committee, disapproving Hazare's demand for written assurance. "The bill is likely to be passed in the winter session. But nobody can give in writing on behalf of Parliament, its nothing but to degrade the highest institution of our democracy," he said.

Hazare's fresh offensive with "defeat Congress" call in coming elections threatens to renew the face-off with the Centre. The party is loathe to respond aggressively post-Ramlila Maidan stand-off, realizing that the corruption issue had popular backing.

A rattled Congress on Monday urged Hazare to wait till the winter session while remarking that his impatience showed a "preconceived mind".

But after Hazare's aggression played out on national television through the day, Congress found it difficult to hide its annoyance. Asked if Hazare was playing politics, Alvi said, "People will decide who is playing politics and who is not." He dubbed Hazare's call against Congress as "unfortunate".


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