New Delhi: Under attack from social activist
and anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare, Union Agriculture
Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday quit the Group of Ministers(GoM)
on corruption, saying he does not want to be "associated" with
the panel anymore.
Pawar, the NCP supremo, said that he has written a
letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informing him that he
does not want to be remain with the Ministerial panel. The
panel is headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"I have told Prime Minister in writing about quitting
the GoM on corruption. I have informed him that I don`t want
to remain anymore with the panel. I don`t want to be
associated with it. The chapter is closed from my side", Pawar
told agency tonight,
His action came hours after he said that he would be
happy to be relieved from all ministerial panels, including
that on corruption.
"I will be happy if you relieve me from all GoMs,
including that GoM (on corruption)," Pawar had remarked
earlier while replying to a query from reporters whether he
was disturbed by Hazare`s comments that the minister should
not be part of the GoM on Corruption.
Hazare(72) had said on Monday, "A minister like Sharad
Pawar, who is known for possessing large amounts of land in
Maharashtra, is heading a committee that will draft the (Lok
On an indefinite fast here since yesterday, Hazare is
pressing for enactment of the Lok Pal Bill with stringent
measures against corruption.
The social activist, supported by eminent persons,
including Kiran Bedi, has been demanding that the drafting
committee for the Lok Pal Bill to tackle corruption should
include members of civil society.
The ministerial panel on corruption is headed by Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee and also comprises Home Minister P
Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, Railway Minister
Mamata Banerjee, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Chemicals and Fertiliser
Minister M K Alagiri and Telecommunications Minister Kapil