Khurshid attacks Team Anna



New Delhi: Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday attacked Team Anna accusing them of converting the anti-corruption movement to launch a "personal campaign" and warned that the country will give them a "suitable answer when the time comes."

His reaction came after Team Anna member Kiran Bedi today invoked Mahabharata to attack Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the alleged irregularities in the coal block allocation.

Meanwhile, the BJP demanded an investigation into the corruption allegations against the Cabinet ministers and said that the "war of words between civil society and government should end".

A day after Union minister V Narayanasamy charged that Anna Hazare was surrounded by "anti-national elements" and those supported by "foreign forces", Khurshid said the Civil Society members must first answer the questions of the irregularities committed by them.

The war of words between the Government and Team Anna intensified after the Government rejected demands of Team Anna to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe allegations of corruption against cabinet ministers and establishing fast-track courts to hear charges against them.

Attacking Team Anna, Khurshid also said that he did not think the members of the Team Anna "are being very helpful and very good to democracy in our country."

"We all felt they started off with a good idea. Idea of containing corruption and questioning corruption was a good idea. But today, they are doing greatest disservice to this idea by converting it into a personal campaign and personal ambition. I will quite confidently say that the country will give them a suitable answer when the time comes," Khurshid said.

Alleging that the Team Anna members have never sought a probe against themselves, Khurshid said, "We are at least subject to public scrutiny. Every five years we go through an election. People reject or accept our record and everything is there available and we are willing for any public scrutiny".

"There are many questions they must first answer. I don't think they have the right to ask questions and I don't think they are being very helpful and very good to democracy in our country," he said.

He said the Government has its own methods of keeping a check on what is happening in the country but I have not heard Team Anna ever having said they are willing for a probe.

He asked the Civil Society members what they have done or what they are doing and alleged that Team Anna members are "screaming and shouting" in an attempt to beat the Government.

Meanwhile, demanding a probe into the allegations against the ministers, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Nobody suspects Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But the way in which his government is drowned in corruption and scams. So it is natural that the taint reaches him also. It is unfortunate but it will happen."

"...This war of words between civil society and government should end. The government should order an investigation," he said.

PTI