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Now, political parties spar over Hazare remarks

Monday April 11, 2011 09:32:06 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Two days after Anna Hazare ended his 97-hour-long fast to demand a tough anti-corruption law, political parties continued to fight over the social crusader's remarks on various issues.

In the latest row, Hazare, just before his departure for Mumbai said here Monday that union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, who is a member of the joint drafting committee, should "quit the committee at the earliest if he feels that it will not serve any purpose".

Hazare was reacting to reports that Sibal had said the "Lokpal was of least use".

"If he feels that Lokpal was useless, why should he waste the time of the committee," Hazare asked.

Sibal clarified that he "was with Hazare". "We all want a Lokpal Bill to be drafted at the earliest and passed," he explained. "What I meant was that Lokpal was of no use for removing illiteracy or other problems. The bill relates only to corruption."

However, the BJP took exception to Sibal's comments and said that it "raised doubts over the government's intentions on making an effective (Lokpal) bill".

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said: "The kind of statements he (Sibal) is making does not instill confidence."

On the opposite side, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said one should not get into charges and counter-charges when a positive process has been set in motion.

The drafting committee, chaired by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is to hold its first meeting April 16 and is expected to come out with the draft of the bill by June 30.

In another criticism of Hazare by the Congress, Singhvi, without mentioning Hazare by name, criticised his comments praising the "developmental work" done by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

During the routine briefing at the Congress headquarters, Singhvi said: "It is not necessary to react on every comment of an individual or another party. Still one cannot approve the praise for a government responsible for the black events in Gujarat."

Meanwhile, Modi said in Ahmedabad that Hazare may be subjected to "a vilification campaign by a certain group inimical to Gujarat" for his statement praising him.

"I heard about your blessings for me and my state. I fear that you will be subjected to vilification. A certain group inimical to Gujarat will not let go this opportunity to malign your love, sacrifice, penance and commitment to truth. They will try to tarnish your name because you spoke well of me and my state," Modi said in a letter to Hazare.







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