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Will contain Anna Hazare factor, says Congress

Posted by on April 19, 2011 0 Comment

The Congress’ “crisis managers” are confident to contain the Anna Hazare factor. This is at a time when the regional players and the main Opposition BJP is yet to get a role in the fight against corruption. They are handling the factor on at least three fronts with a calculation that the whole issue (Lokpal bill and fight against corruption) could derail due to various factors.

The “crisis managers” have kept Maharashtra leaders at the Centre, away from Mr Hazare while senior officials in the state government too have not been involved yet in resolving the issue despite that they have good rapport with the Gandhian leader. Two former CMs of Maharashtra and the current Union ministers — Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh — have an experience of how to handle this delicate issue with Mr Hazare.

According to the sources, senior officials Mr Ratnakar Gaikawad, Mr Umeshchandra Sarangi and a retired official Mr Nana Patil were called to New Delhi before April 5 to persuade Mr Hazare from his decision to undertake the fast-unto-death on the Jan Lokpal bill.

But the crisis managers had relied more on Swami Agnivesh. They seemed to have adopted a duel strategy. First, to engage Mr Hazare and his colleagues in the joint drafting committee meetings to prepare a draft for the Lokpal Bill. And second, to raise questions about their fight against corruption which could raise doubts about civil society members.

Mr Hazare’s dashing off a letter to the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday complaining against a Congress general secretary and a Union minister “to create confusion, misleading people and derail the ongoing discussion in the joint drafting committee” did not influence the Congress.

In fact, the party backed AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh’s stand on this issue. On the other hand, regional parties divided between the UPA, NDA and outside, have not been able to find any role outside Parliament. Asian Age

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