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Congress launches frontal attack on Hazare

Congress launches frontal attack on Hazare
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First Published: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 05 12 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 05 12 PM IST
New Delhi: Ahead of Anna Hazare’s proposed fast on Lokpal, Congress on Sunday launched a no-holds-barred attack, saying he should first clarify the “serious” findings against him of a commission that probed graft charges and accused him of attempting to bring instability in the country.
“The fast from 16 August has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said, claiming that the “moral core” of Hazare has been “ripped apart” by the Justice P.B. Sawant Commission which had “found him steeped in corruption from head to toe”.
The Commission had probed corruption charges levelled by Hazare in 2003 against four ministers in the then Maharashtra government.
“The fast has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill. If that was the case Hazare would have first clarified the grave charges. What is his clarification about the serious findings...The nation wants to know,” Tewari said, adding, “I think Hazare and his associates will need to answer conclusions of Sawant Commission.”
The party also charged Hazare with systematically attempting to bring instability in the country and insulting Parliament before which the Lokpal bill has been brought.
“When someone tries to bring destabilisation, it becomes the duty of any political party to (fight back)”, he said in a stern signal to Hazare that “too much tolerance has been shown to him so far”.
Tewari alleged that the ideological disposition of the Team Anna consists of “armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists...lurking behind forces of right reaction and funded by invisible donors whose links may go back a long way abroad”.
Tewari especially was critical of Hazare for the tone and tenor of his letter to the Prime Minister and accused him of crossing all limits of “decency and decorum”.
“It is not an insult of the Prime Minister but of the national flag. We want to ask in what way he was raising the issue of corruption when a commission headed by a Supreme Court judge had found him steeped in it from head to toe,” Tewari said.
He said that government exhibits “unique tolerance”, but if “someone tries to cross ‘laxman rekha´, starts suffering from grandeuritis -- delusions of grandeur and grandstanding- then he needs to be shown his place”.
Asked as to why Hazare was treated by the government so far with “kid gloves and whether the attitude of the government was wrong”, he said, “Giving a long rope to hang himself is also part of a strategy.”
To a query whether government should hold talks with Hazare, he said that he failed to understand for what issue the Gandhian is fasting as the Lokpal bill is now with Parliament.
“We have demolished the basis of his castle of sand,” he said.
He sidestepped questions on whether the situation following the agitation by Hazare was similar to the one by Jai Prakash Narayan in 1974.
On comparing Hazare with yoga guru Ramdev, he said he would not go into it.
Brushing aside BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari’s charge that the situation in the country looked like pre-emergency days, Tewari raked up the Karnataka illegal mining issue saying Gadkari should tell the nation why he went to Bellary to give “blessings” to controversial Reddy brothers.
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First Published: Sun, Aug 14 2011. 05 12 PM IST