Friday, June 14, 2024

Hazare slammed for remarks against Rahul


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 NEW DELHI: Anna Hazare’s remarks bringing Rahul Gandhi in the line of fire over the Lokpal issue on Monday drew condemnation from the Congress which alleged his intent was political to create an environment against the party.

The spearhead of the anti-corruption movement also faced flak from RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who said the language used by him to target MPs could lead the nation towards anarchy.

“Anna Hazare’s statement that 180 MPs are ‘goondas’ is highly objectionable. It is an insult to Parliament. He (Anna Hazare) should take back his words,” Prasad told reporters.

Defending Rahul, the Congress warned that partymen won’t tolerate accusations against its General Secretary with political motives.

Accusing Rahul of diluting the Lokpal bill draft, Hazare had said he strongly suspected him of “interfering” in the making of the Lokpal draft so that it became weak.

“Rahul Gandhi is not even in the Government and he is only the Party General Secretary. Hazare is attacking him for weakening the Lokpal Bill to help vested interests tarnish his image. Congressmen will not tolerate this,” Congress MP P V Hanumanth Rao told reporters.

Lashing out at Team Anna for targeting Rahul, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh alleged its intent was political and it was out to create an environment against the Congress.

“The intent of all Anna team, Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravishankar is political. Corruption is not the issue, their issue is how to create an environment against the Congress party,” he said, while asserting there was no question of going back on the issue of strong Lokpal. Hinting that Team Anna is acting at the behest of BJP, Singh said, “BJP’s gameplan has been to divert the attention from Sangh members involved in terror activities.”

Lalu Yadav also defended Rahul saying there was no reason for Hazare to criticise him.

Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said, “the opposition is scared of Rahul Gandhi and Anna has become their spokesperson especially that of the RSS. Is he a laat sahab, let him come to UP (elections), we will see him there.”

“Anna is trying to scare Congress but we are not afraid of him. If he is 75, then Congress is 125 years old,” he said.

Another Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, “His (Anna’s) word is not the one of Lord Brahma. Is he Satyawadi Harishchandra, I do not agree with this.” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said it was Rahul who wanted a strong Lokpal and worked for giving constitutional status to the proposed ombudsman. “Anna Hazare is doing politics (on Lokpal issue),” he said. Recalling a statement made by Rahul in Parliament on Lokpal, Digvijay Singh said the opposition party made fun of it when he suggested that Lokpal should be given a constitutional status. “Now Anna Team has accepted the fact that Lokpal should be given a constitutional status,” Singh said, asking why Rahul is being targeted when he has not made any other statement on the issue.

Reiterating his claim that Team Anna’s movement is backed by political considerations, he said, “Charge of my party and myself has always been that the whole exercise is entirely political.”

Claiming that Team Anna is selectively targeting the Congress party, Singh said, “They don’t see corruption in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Only Congress-ruled states and the UPA government in Delhi is their target.”

Accusing Hazare of showing “dictatorial and fascist tendencies”, Rajya Sabha MP Bhalchandra Mungekar said his methods to get Lokpal Bill enacted disregarding its practicability showed his lack of understanding and contempt for Parliament.

Mungekar, the Congress MP who is a former Planning Commission member, also felt that Hazare will “create a situation akin to anarchy” if Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

He questioned the motive behind the activist’s attack on Rahul, saying Hazare was doing this at the behest of “some forces” in the country. (PTI)


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