Pawar makes veiled attack on Anna Hazare

In a veiled attack on Anna Hazare, Sharad Pawar said attempts to show "disrespect" to Parliamentary institutions could be a reason for the assault.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2011, 22:46 PM IST

Mumbai: In a veiled attack on Anna Hazare,
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday said attempts to show
"disrespect" to Parliamentary institutions could be a reason
for the assault on him.

Addressing a press conference here, the NCP President
said he was not blaming any political party for the attack on
him in Delhi yesterday (His ally Congress had sought to link
the incident to BJP).
"I have no proof to say this and hence I am not taking
a political approach on the matter. However, attempts to show
disrespect to Parliamentary institutions could a reason of the
attack," Pawar said.

The NCP leader declined to take Hazare`s name, saying
he has never commented on his statements.

People in certain quarters have accused Hazare`s anti-
corruption campaign of undermining democratic institutions.

Asked about Maharashtra Government engaging the social
activist on policy decisions in the past, Pawar said it was
the duty of the Government to engage people from different
walks of life, but it should know whose suggestions to take.

"I have always kept that in mind," the former Chief
Minister maintained.

"Such people are exposed some time or the other. If
democratic institutions are continuously attacked, it will
lead to anarchy. It is wrong to say that what I say should be
implemented. Individuals are not important."
Pawar admitted certain policy decisions may have
proved wrong in recent times and come under the scanner of the
courts. "However, Parliament is important and it was to be
respected otherwise democracy will have to pay a heavy price.
People should bear this in mind."

Speaking about yesterday`s incident, Pawar said, Delhi
police have informed him that the attacker was upset with his
stand on issues of agriculture produce. "I have always
maintained that farmers should get maximum profits for their
produce. If people misunderstand this, Parliament is the right
place for debate," he said.

He said that even though he finds security troublesome,
he would abide by the Union Home Ministry directives.

Pawar admitted that Parliamentarians have to introspect
on the need to protect the dignity of the institutions.

He said the demand for right to recall the elected
representatives would lead to instability, which the country
cannot afford.

"So far, the winter session of Parliament has seen
smooth functioning during a condolence motion and today`s
debate on attack on me," the NCP leader said.

Pawar said, there is a proper system to highlight
issues in a democracy. "We got this right, because we are a
democratic country. If we don`t take care to protect our
institutions, it will be harmful," he said.

"I would like to thank Maharashtra politicians for
speaking in one voice today," he said.

Speaking on the cotton issue, the Union Agriculture
Minister said the Centre has recently hiked the minimum
support price to rs 300.

"Except Maharashtra, there is no problem in cotton
growing states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Punjab. Maharashtra`s problem is different and
problems can be resolved permanently, if maximum area comes
under irrigation in Vidarbha," he said.

Pawar said, Punjab has given additional bonus of Rs 50
per quintal. Maharashtra is also considering giving
assistance, following the local bodies elections next month.

PTI