Congress President Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to reply to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s letter appealing to her to stop her colleagues from ‘derailing’ the process of drafting the Lokpal Bill . According to a top Congress leader, Hazare’s letter had no specific questions and was merely a complaint.
A senior Congress general secretary said, “The party president is unlikely to write. What is there to reply in that letter? There is no concerted effort by the party to run down anyone. Every person has a right to express his opinion. Civil society activists have been actively talking about corruption in politics with Hazareji even talking about voters being sold out. So when political leaders point out certain facts why are they getting so agitated?”
The party has not taken too kindly to Hazare making the letter public. A section of Congress feels that with the recent controversies, civil society is on the defensive and is trying to take a high moral ground over the corruption issue. “Anna Hazare is not a divine court that you cannot point a finger at him. The civil society members are linking the CD controversy with questions posed by our party general secretary. It is not at all a big conspiracy to demean somebody. This is a democracy where everyone can speak,” said another Congress general secretary.
In his two-page letter, the Gandhian had made a reference to “one of the general secretaries of Congress party” and asked Gandhi if she personally approved of his statements. Hazare had said, “I assume that he has the support of the party to make such remarks.” Though there was no name, there was little doubt left that the general secretary being referred to was senior leader Digvijaya Singh.
Congress seems in no mood to pipe down over this fresh controversy. Senior Congress leaders are carefully studying the report of Justice PB Sawant Commission on ‘Allegations of Corrupt Practices and Maladministration’ against four state ministers and Hazare. The report had adverse observations about certain trusts spending crores of rupees on Anna Hazare’s birthday celebrations. Though the report was submitted to the Maharashtra Government in 2005, it was never tabled in the state Assembly. Congress seems to be arming itself with material against Hazare. Economic Times