New Delhi: With Anna Hazare`s arrest evoking
strong reactions across the country, opposition parties on Tuesday
sought to revive anti-Congressism by raking up the issue of
Slamming the Congress-led government at the Centre over
Hazare`s arrest, BJP, JD (U), Shiv Sena and BJD said the
incident was an "attack" on civil liberties and reminded them
of the days of the Emergency imposed in mid-seventies by
Shiv Sena urged the opposition parties to join hands and
oust the UPA government at the Centre while TDP wanted Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh to apolgise to the nation for the
Even in Parliament, in a rare show of solidarity, BJP,
Left and several other oppposition parties came together to
demand a statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on
Hazare`s arrest and hinted that Parliament would otherwise not
be allowed to function.
Chief Ministers of non-UPA ruled states were also sharply
critical of the government`s move.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described the
incident as "murder of democracy" and "rehearsal of the
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik echoed similar
sentiments saying this sort of incident reminds of what
used to happen during the Emergency days.
Shiv Sena said "if the government is going to behave as
if it is an Emergency-like situation, then this government has
no right to continue... all opposition parties should come
together to pull down the government".
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu
said in Hyderabad that the police action against Hazare was
totally "undemocratic and unconstitutional" and was the
"height of despotic" rule of the Congress-led UPA government
at the Centre that is "suppressing all civil rights".
As Hazare was arrested and sent to Tihar Jail, leaders of
BJP, JD(U), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party, RJD and
some other non-UPA parties held a meeting in BJP leader Sushma
Swaraj`s room in Parliament to discuss it and devise common
strategy of pursuing the agitation in the House against
JD-U chief and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav worked as a
cataylist to bring all non-UPA parties together on the issue.
Sources said the attempt will be to create an unity of
non-UPA parties like the one witenssed during Bharat Bandh
against price rise on July 1 last year.
Swaraj said Hazare`s arrest reflected the government`s
Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the arrest
of Anna Hazare was "unjustified. Slamming the government,
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said Hazare`s arrest was "a strong
attack on democratic rights."
Congress, however, dismissed Opposition raking up the
Emergency over Hazare`s arrest. Party spokesperson Abhishek
Singhvi saying "it is entirely the result of temporary
political expediency backed by preposterous ignorance of
history." He also brushed aside a question on whether Hazare`s
movement can be compared with that of Jai Prakash Narayan.
He said "quick trigger-happy comparisons can be
dangerous. They can be misleading."