Anna Hazare demands life term for coalgate scam accused

To get to the bottom of coalgate, the court will have to step in, says anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

Updated: Oct 23, 2012, 20:55 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Noted anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has demanded life term for those involved in the multi-crore coalgate scam and asked the government to get to the bottom of the scam.

While talking exclusively to Zee News on Monday, the Gandhian said, “Those involved in the coalgate should be given life term if they are found guilty.”

The Gandhian further said, “Giving life term to those found guilty will send a strong message across the country.”

When quizzed whether the politicians believed to be involved in the coalgate scam should give an explanation, Anna said, “This is not happening…. They can’t do so. They have to run the government, which requires them to take everybody onboard.“

When asked to comment on the silence maintained by the political fraternity on such a massive scam, the Gandhian said, “They will not be able to raise their voice against those involved in it…neither PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi nor Rahul Gandhi will speak on the issue since they have to run the government. Today many governments are being run like this. Vote bank politics is mainly responsible for this situation.”

“The CBI cannot do anything. To unearth the coal scam, the court should investigate the matter. If a committee is made then I am sure more people will go to jail than in the 2G matter,” he suggested.
In a scathing attack on political leaders, Hazare said, “Names of Congress leaders like Naveen Jindal and Vijay Darda are doing the rounds in coal scam.”

“I don’t know where this country will go. People get elected on the basis of power and then use the platform for misdeeds,” he added.

“Power and money have become intertwined,” Hazare opined, adding, “Politics has become kind of a racket for many.”

On a sad note he said, “Those who run the government do not have a social or national point of view.”

Anna also lamented the fact that after an uproar over coalgate and FIRs, things have become quiet on that front. He was sure that wrongdoings had been committed in the allocation of coal blocks.

Anna also refused to defend India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal on the allegations made by Congress leader Digvijay Singh but said he will support his former associate if he fights election against a corrupt person.

"I won`t protect Kejriwal on allegations made by Digvijay. I will support him if he fights election against a corrupt person," Anna said in an interview at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra.
Explaining his position on why he parted ways with Kejriwal, Anna said, "Kejriwal did not reply to my five questions including on funding of the new political outfit and identifying the candidates."

Kejriwal was told not to use my name in the yet to be named political outfit, he said.

Wishing him well, Hazare said: "I have no advice for him."

Anna said he was in the process of re-launching his campaign for the anti-graft institution - Lokpal - and was screening potential members.

"We are working for the Lokpal and pro-people laws and are in the process of finalising the members after verifying their credentials," he said.