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Monday, 17 October 2011

Digvijaya dig at Anna’s vow of silence

AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh today questioned Anna Hazare’s vow of silence, wondering if its purpose was to avoid questions on the arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and the controversial statement of team member Prashant Bhushan on Kashmir.

Singh targeted Anna for denying support given to him by the RSS, saying, “I do not understand why Anna is denying support from the RSS. He did not touch mention corruption of the BJP government. He praised Narendra Modi despite the fact that the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat has been pending for nine years. Even Nitin Gadkari was praised from his dais, and Govindacharya claimed a 20-lakh crowd to be of RSS. To top it all, Anna sending an eight-page political reply to my letter makes clear the kind of political support he has got.’’

Singh condemned the attack on Bhushan, but at the same time maintained that Bhushan’s statement was “wrong” because Kashmir is an integral part of India. “I am no legal expert but it is certainly a matter of probe whether this statement on Kashmir would amount to sedition,” Singh told reporters.

Regarding the Hisar Lok Sabha by-election, where Anna and his team had appealed to the people to vote against the Congress, Singh said, “We were never too hopeful about that seat. Even in 2009 we did not win it. Moreover, the sentiments of the public go with the late Bhajan Lal and his son, thus it would be wrong to associate the Hisar result with the Anna effect.”

Terming the Jan Chetna Yatra of L K Advani a failure, Singh said Advani wanted to cash in on the Anna effect but failed to do so. “Even we had not expected that he would gather such a low crowd,” he said.

Regarding Mayawati’s allegation that opposition parties in UP were anti-Dalit, Singh said, “We are not against installation of statues of Dalit icons. The Congress is opposing installation of statues of Mayawati and her family members with public funds. This is not acceptable and we will make this an issue.”

Singh and other senior leaders had a six-hour discussion with 135 party candidates in Lucknow, where they told the candidates not to be afraid of the “Anna factor” and take up the “corruption issue” against the Mayawati government in an aggressive manner. One of the candidates said, “It was almost like a class about dos and don’ts (for poll preparation) for us.”

Luicknow: Reacting to objections raised by Digvijaya Singh over installation of the statues of CM Mayawati and her family, the ruling BSP said Singh's allegations against the CM reflected (Singh's) anti-Dalit mentality. The BSP claimed that the statues were installed as per the wish of BSP founder Kanshiram in his written will. Kanshiram had wished that after his death, his statues be installed along with his political successor – Mayawati, a party release said.


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