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Cong hints it wants Bhushan to go but won`t mouth it

Last Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 21:20

New Delhi: In a veiled message to Shanti
Bhushan to quit the Joint Committee on Lokpal Bill, Congress
today said that people measuring society according to certain
moral yardsticks should measure up to them.

"If you do attempt to measure society and individuals
by certain moral yardsticks, then obviously there is a need to
very seriously introspect whether you measure up to that
yardsticks," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

He said such people should do some soul searching.

To a specific query whether he implied that lawyer
Shanti Bhushan should quit the 10-member Joint Committee to
prepare the draft for Lokpal following the CD controversy and
the issue of allotment of land in Noida, Tewari said he was
not indicating towards any individual or any institution but
was making a `generic` comment.

"This is a fundamental question and related to the
conscience of an individual and does not aim at pointing
fingers at any particular individual or institution," he said.

On the controversial CD issue, allegedly involving the
Bhushans, Tewari said the Congress "is not in habit of giving
running commentary on on-going investigations into a criminal

He was asked whether Congress would be demanding that
Bhushans should quit the panel after a government forensic lab
found that the CD was not doctored.

Replying to a similar question on Bhushan in Lucknow,
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said he leaves that to
his conscience.

Asked about comments of Karnataka Lokayutka Santosh
Hegde that a camapaign had started against drafting committee
members who wanted a strong Lokpal bill and that he would
withdraw himself from the panel if it continued, Tewari
said he would not like to join issues with him "as Congress
party holds Hegde, a former eminent judge of the Supreme
Court, in high esteem."

He, however, added that "the way corruption continued
in a big way in Karnataka is before the entire nation and
people of the country will decide the matter in that context
when the time time comes. It is a widely held perception that
Karnataka is the motherhood of corruption."

Asked whether he is hinting that Hegde as Lokayaukta
did not do enough to check corruption in Karnataka, Tewari
said, "I am not making any insinuation and comments against
any individual or institution. We in Congress hold
institutions in high esteem unlike BJP, which is selective in
praising institutions."

Tewari also dismissed allegations of smear campaign by
Congress but evaded a direct reply on whether Congress
endorses the statements made by AICC general secertary against
the civil society members associated with Hazare.

"We support the bill and are in favour of strict
measures to check corruption. Congress President made it very
explicit yesterday that neither we believe in, subscribe to
nor endorse such smear campaigns. We have always believed in
probity of public life and straight forwardness. The party is
clear that we should fight against corruption and necessary
steps for it should be taken," he said.

Asked whether former Samajwadi Party general secretary
Amar Singh "is the B-team of Congress in the campaign against
Hazare and his supporters", Tewari said, "I would not like to
dignify this insinuation with a response".


First Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 21:20

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