New Delhi: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar
on Wednesday lashed out at Anna Hazare for his remarks justifying the
recent physical attack on him, saying any further assault on
him would be amply clear from where the instigation emanates.
However, in a statement, he appealed to his followers
that Hazare`s views and utterances should be addressed
maturely and with restraint and should indulge in any
Pawar`s statement came in response to a blog posting by
Hazare in which he attacked the NCP chief saying he has an
"old habit of protecting corrupt people" and one should think
why he was attacked.
"I have no objection to Shri Hazare expressing his
thoughts regarding me or my actions. However, in the event of
any further physical assault on me, it would be amply clear
from where the instigation or encouragement for such acts
"In the recent past, Shri Hazare by supporting the
physical assault on me at a public function has given a new
definition to the concept of `Gandhism` and `non-violence`,"
Pawar also said while he was hurt at the "vituperative"
views expressed Hazare, he would still appeal to all that his
views or utterances should be addressed maturely and with
restraint and no one should indulge any sort of retaliatory
violence of word or deed.
Referring to Hazare`s views on the Justice Sawant
Commission report and the allegation that he had over the
years given protection to corrupt individuals, the minister
said the report has no direct or indirect reference to him.
Moreover, all the ministers indicted in the report have
already tendered their resignation, he said adding, "it is
ironical though that no action seems to have been taken on the
issue of maladministration and corruption mentioned in Justice
Sawant Commission regarding Anna Hazare."
When asked about Pawar`s statement, Hazare refused to
comment on the issue.
"Ask about Lokpal," Hazare told reporters in Ralegan
Siddhi when asked about the Minister`s remarks.
As he concluded his press conference on Lokpal and walked
away, he was heard telling his associates that journalists
wanted to create a rift by asking such questions.