New Delhi: Anna Hazare`s team on Sunday hit out
at Congress for levelling allegations against the Gandhian
saying the charges only betrayed the party`s "nervousness" in
the face of his proposed fast and wondered whether Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh was responsible only to his office and
not to the country.
As Congress raised its pitch seeking to puncture Hazare`s
morality plank by telling him to first clarify the "serious
findings" of Justice PB Sawant Commission against him and his
trusts, his close associate Kiran Bedi said Congress spokesman
Manish Tewari seems to be "under stress" to defend his party.
"Such an allegation speaks of visible nervousness of
Anna`s call for it has reached out to all victims of
corruption," Bedi said.
Claiming that the country is fortunate to have the likes
of Hazare, she said the Gandhian is a recipient of some of the
most prestigious national awards like Padma Bhushan and the
Padma Shri and "the first basis of all these is integrity".
She said one has to either crush corruption or be ready
to stay crushed by it. "August 16 (when Hazare starts his
indefinite fast), provides an opportunity and Anna will not be
here forever," she said.
Tewari claimed that team Anna consists of "armchair
fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists ...lurking
behing forces of right reaction and funded by invisible donors
whose links may go back a long way abroad".
On the Prime Minister`s late night letter to Hazare
asking him to approach Delhi Police on the issue of his
protest venue, activist Arvind Kejriwal said, "It seems that
the Prime Minister is responsible for PMO and not for the
"If the Constitution is not followed, if fundamental
rights are not allowed, if there is a problem, it seems he is
hesitating to take responsibility," he alleged.
In a late night response to Hazare who rejected Delhi
police`s conditions to limit his protest to three days and
5,000 people, Singh told the social activist that his
grievances needed to be "addressed by the statutory
authorities who have taken the decision...my office does not
in any way get involved in the decision-making process."
Kejriwal said it was wrong for the Prime Minister to say
that the letter giving permission was not given by his office
and he is not responsible for it.
"It is very depressing that the Prime Minister says this
is too small a matter for him to bother about," lawyer
Prashant Bhushan said.
Kejriwal said there were several conditions which are
unacceptable to them because it was unconstitutional. "It is
very interesting that we gathered at Jantar Mantar on April
five without any such clause. They never asked for any
undertaking," he claimed.
Hazare accused the government of "deceit" by putting
conditions on his agitation and sought the intervention of the
Prime Minister asking him to "show courage" and protect his
Singh said "the terms and conditions on which you are
entitled to carry on with your protest are decided by the
statutory authorities concerned taking into account the
prevailing circumstances and other relevant factors".
The Prime Minister went on to add, "We are all committed
to the Constitution of India and to uphold it in both letter
Addressing a press conference after Delhi Police sent a
letter to him containing 22 conditions, Hazare made it clear
that he was ready for any eventuality in case government
decides to crack down on his protest, saying he would not mind
going to jail or being beaten up by police.