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Cong, BJP clash over "smear" campaign against civil society

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 00:46

New Delhi: Congress and BJP on Wednesday clashed
over the "fake" CD issue and anti-corruption crusader Anna
Hazare`s allegation of smear campaign by Sonia Gandhi`s party
colleagues against civil society members on the joint drafting
committee for Lokpal bill.

BJP criticised the statements of some Congress leaders
against members of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee and
asked Sonia Gandhi to clarify if she had given them
instructions to do so.
"Today corruption is Congress-centric. This has been
proven without doubt....The recent wave of anger against
corruption is primarily Congress-centric," BJP spokesperson
Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

He said "there are indications that leaders of those who
are most affected by these charges of corruption - especially
those who are members of the drafting committee - are coming
out with statements".

"I would not like to say a campaign is being run. But
clearly after the manner in which Congress General Secretary
Digvijay Singh has given statements, UPA Chairperson Sonia
Gandhi should tell us whether instructions have been issued to
Congressmen to create hurdles for the campaign against
corruption," Rudy said.
BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged Congress
and former SP leader Amar Singh had joined hands to malign
Anna Hazare and the other civil society members of the
Joint Drafting committee.

"The central government has given `Supari` (contract) to
professionals to defame the anti-corruption campaign of Anna
Hazare. This `supari` has been given to the same persons who
were given the responsibility of saving the government and
ensuring its victory through cash-for-vote on Indo-US nuclear
agreement," Naqvi said without naming Singh.

"It is very unfortunate that the government and the
Congress are saying something on the face but are adopting
various low-level, shameful and immoral tactics to defame
anti-corruption campaign behind the curtain," he added.

Congress, however, said it was wrong to view political
debate as allegations.

"It is wrong to view political debate as allegations
.... Everybody has a right to express his views in public in a
democratic country with democratic values," party spokesperson
Manish Tewari said.

As the war of words over the CD controversy involving
eminent lawyer and Lokpal Bill panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan
intensified, Hazare had, in a letter to Sonia Gandhi, said one
of the strategies of corrupt forces is to "smear the
reputation" of civil society members in drafting committee and
asked her to advise her "colleagues" not to try to derail the
process of drafting of law.

Tewari said "those people who are in the public domain
need to understand that discourse is a two-way thing.


First Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 00:46

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