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BJP charges Congress of diverting attention from core issues of Lokpal


August 14, 2011 - New Delhi

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday accused the ruling Congress Party of making baseless allegations against veteran social activist Anna Hazare with an aim to divert attention from core issues related to the Lokpal Bill.

"It is not a crime to speak out against corruption. The Congress has responded to anti-corruption movements by making random allegations and unleashing police atrocities. The BJP's message to the Congress is that instead of reacting in such ways, it should act decisively against corruption," said BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

Hussain further said that if the Congress knew Hazare was corrupt, they should have brought the matter out before they started drafting the Lokpal Bill draft with him and his team.

"Why did the Congress spend five months working with civil society members on the Ombudsman Bill draft, if it knew that Anna Hazare is corrupt? This is a Congress conspiracy against anti-corruption movements. The BJP will not allow the Congress to succeed," he said.

Hussain also warned the Congress against creating an emergency-like situation in the country.

"The BJP would like to warn the Congress against creating an emergency-like situation. While they have an idea of how to declare emergencies, they should not forget how the emergency ended," he said.

Congress Party accusing Hazare of double standards earlier in the day charged him of being involved in several cases of corruption.

"We would like to ask Anna Hazare, with what face are you talking about fast against corruption? You are corrupt yourself. We are not saying this. This is what a high court appointed inquiry has said," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.

"He himself is involved in several cases of corruption. This has been proved by the apex court appointed Justice Sawant Commission. The commission found that Anna runs several NGOs and money was spent illegally for his birthday celebration," he added.

Hazare, who is scheduled to go an indefinite fast against corruption over the Lokpal Bill had written a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, asking him to intervene after the Delhi Police asked Hazare to submit an undertaking that the agitation would be limited to three days and that not more than 4,000-5,000 people would assemble at the Jayaprakash Narayan Park, venue of the protest.

The police also made it clear that they would not give permission for Hazare"s agitation until he gave an undertaking on 22 counts.

In a reply to Hazare"s letter, Dr. Singh said that the conditions were decided by the "statutory authorities" taking into account the prevailing circumstances and other factors.

"I have received your letter, carrying the date 14th August, 2011 and carefully read its contents. Your grievance that the police has given you permission to protest and go on fast at JP Park only for three days needs to be addressed by the statutory authorities who have taken that decision," Dr. Singh said.

"My Office does not in any way get involved in the decision-making process. The terms and conditions on which you are entitled to carry on with your protest are decided by the statutory authorities concerned taking into account the prevailing circumstances and other relevant factors," he added.

He further requested Hazare to address his grievances to the statutory authorities concerned.

"We are all committed to the Constitution of India and to uphold it both in letter and spirit," he added.

ANI

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