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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Now, Sharad Pawar fires back at Anna Hazare

The face-off between NCP president Sharad Pawar and social worker Anna Hazare escalated on Wednesday with charges of corruption flying from both ends.

Breaking his silence, Pawar said, “When the Justice Sawant commission held three of our ministers guilty, I ordered that they be sacked. And I would like to remind Hazare that it was the same commission which held Hazare guilty after investigating some matter related to administrative lapses and corruption.”

In a sharp rejoinder to Hazare’s allegations, the union agriculture minister said, “Hazare has every right to justify the attack against me, and I have no reasons to complain. But next time there is an attack, people will know whom to hold responsible. There will be no need for investigations to ascertain the facts. The people will know who and what led to such a physical attack.”

Pawar urged his followers to show restraint at the mindless needling by Hazare, and to question the Gandhian’s justification towards violence.

Highly placed sources in Mantralaya indicated to DNA, “Preliminary findings by the home department have indicated that Team Hazare has taken a conscious decision to revive its graft campaign against Pawar. The reasons cited are that a sustained campaign against Pawar helps Hazare occupy centrestage in Maharashtra; leaders of the opposition are also covertly supporting and waging a battle against the ruling Congress and NCP, in the wake of the local body elections.”

A senior Congress cabinet minister said, “The ugly incident of Harvinder Singh slapping Pawar may have evoked mixed reactions from people and politicians. But that episode is over, after both Hazare and Pawar expressed their reactions. The big question is, what was the reason for Hazare to revive the same episode, and justify it again in the name of Gandhian principles? This is anybody’s guess.”

The NCP core committee has discussed the Hazare campaign. But they have decided not to take to the streets against Hazare, since he still enjoys massive public support. An NCP general secretary said, “If our workers take to the streets again in anger, it will unnecessarily trigger ugly violence. We don’t want any law and order problems.”

The NCP is, however, extremely distressed by Hazare’s charge that Pawar has always protected and promoted corruption.


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