The rhetorical war between the government and Team Anna degenerated on Sunday into name calling with the Congress tarring Anna Hazare with the “corrupt” brush. “Anna 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,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari alleged. Meanwhile asserting that the fight for the Jan Lokpal Bill will continue, Hazare dared the government to prove allegations against him.
“Government has already accused all the members of the Lokpal Committee, I was the only one left. All charges against me are baseless. If they can, let they prove them I can corrupt,” Hazare said. “There is no charge of corruption in the report Congress quoted,” he added.
The Congress spokesman also questioned the credentials of those seeking stern action against corruption, and a different Lokpal bill. He alleged that 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’s attack also turned inelegant when he called the group around the Gandhian “A-Company and not Team Anna.”
“The fast from August 16 has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill,” Tewari said, claiming that the “moral core” of Hazare has been “ripped apart” by the Justice Sawant Commission.
The commission had probed corruption charges levelled by Hazare in 2003 against four ministers in the then Maharashtra government. “The fast from August 16 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 .”
But Justice (Retd) Sawant, who had authored the report, had earlier this year himself extended his backing to Anna’s anti-graft campaign. “What I probed was certainly a case of corruption. But Hazare accepted that it was a mistake, so he can certainly go ahead with the agitation,” he had said in April. Economic Times