Hazare`s associates close to BJP, says Digvijay

Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 18:37

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader
Digvijay Singh on Friday said people close to Anna Hazare are
"somehow close" to BJP and questioned the inclusion of father-
son lawyer duo of Shanti and Prashant Bhushan in the ten-
member joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill.

He also cautioned "simple and naive" Hazare about
people close to him, saying they have "their own cause" to
push and asked why he did not choose Aruna Roy or Harsh Mander
to be on the joint drafting committee for Lokpal Bill.

The Congress leader disapproved of Hazare`s threat to
go on protest if Parliament does not pass the Lokpal Bill by
August 15 and his praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi saying that the veteran Gandhian should be careful of
what he was speaking.

Describing Hazare as a "simple, naive, simple-minded
villager" who is being "exploited by smart people from town
area", Singh said, "I can`t call him to be supporting RSS or
BJP cause. But he should be careful with some associates
he chose.

"The banner which was used as the backdrop (at the
protest site) Bharatmata resembled that of RSS. One should be
careful. People who are close to the Gandhian were somehow
close to BJP also," Singh said on a television channel.

He said the Gandhian was "unwittlingly" sending wrong
signals and has become a front for some people.

On the presence of father-son duo Shanti Bhushan and
Prashant Bhushan in the drafting panel, Singh said Hazare
should have been careful in choosing the right people as only
the other day the court had issued notices against the lawyers
for alleged undervaluing of their property and evasion of
stamp duty.

"He has been surrounded by a section of people who are
trying to push their own cause. Why he has not taken Harsh
Mander or Aruna Roy (in the joint committee)? They are also
competent, honest and as dedicated as others. Even more, I
would say.

"Arvind Kejriwal is a chela (follower) of Roy. If Roy
has been taken, it would have been better," Singh said. Kejriwal is one
of the five civil-society members in the ten-member panel.

Singh also rubbished Hazare`s allegations that a
section of people was trying to create discord in the movement
and said such things were bound to happen as it had got hyped
by media.

On Modi, the Congress leader wondered how he could
praise the BJP leader as a "great Chief Minister" whe he has
not appointed a Lokayukta for the past eight years. "There is
no forum in Gujarat to complain about corruption," he said.

"The Home Minister (Amit Shah) is charged in a false
encounter case and he is known to be an extortionist...There
are many more allegations against Modi. How can one term Modi
as an honest man," Singh said, adding, the 73-year-old anti-
corruption crusader did not know whom he was praising.

Asked about Justice Sawant Commission of Inquiry
Report which found Hazare guilty of corruption, he said the
news came as a "rude shock" to him and this was going to
create problem for the social activist as it will erode his
credibility.

Terming Hazare`s comments on Indian voters as
"uncharitable and very very deregatory", the Congress leader
said in the last 60 years, people all over the world have
acknowledged the strength of India`s democracy.

On Hazare`s remarks that he will lose deposit if he
stands for elections, Singh said the Gandhian "underestimates"
the Indian voter and if he contests from the area where he had
worked, he would "win hands down".

Reacting to the deadline set by Hazare for the passage
of Lokpal Bill, Singh said the protestors were "overdoing it".

"Undervaluing the authority of democratic values and
traditions and Constitution is not justified. It is not good
for country or democracy," he said adding if the MPs need more
time they should be given time in framing the legislation.

"I am not asking to ignore or take notice (of the
deadline. All parties have to get together and bring about a
consensus...These things are done at the threat of a barrel of
a gun. Consensus have to be evolved. All political ideologies
have to get together to have a comprehensive Lokpal Bill which
can take on corruption," he said.

Singh also did not find anything wrong in bringing
bureaucrats or judges under the ambit of Lokpal. He also said
there was nothing wrong in videographing the joint committee
meeting.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 18:37

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