Congress, government lack coordination on Anna: Experts

August 16th, 2011 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Political watchers said Tuesday there appeared to be a lack of coordination between the Congress party and the government in tackling the Anna Hazare episode as the Congress struggled to put up a brave face to counter the “designs of Team Anna”.

However, political watchers said the presence of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi may give a sense of direction to the party, battling the latest crisis in the absence of UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had Saturday attacked Anna Hazare in strong terms, saying he was “neck deep in corruption” citing the report of Justice P.B. Sawant who probed the trusts with which the social activist has been associated.

Later, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal defended the Delhi Police’s restrictions on the venue of Hazare’s proposed fast. The social activist was detained Tuesday morning ahead of his proposed fast to demand a stronger Lokpal Bill, triggering protests across the country.

Congress leader Mohan Prakash maintained there was no difference between the party and the government over the handling of Hazare’s fast.

Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute of Development and Communication, Chandigarh, said the Congress response ranged from being “liberal” to “autocratic”.

Social activist Shabnam Hashmi too said the response of the Congress and the government indicated “chaos within”.

According to Kumar, there was lack of coordination between the Congress and the government’s response to Hazare’s fast as the social activist posed a wrong question to the government.

“Anna should have gone ahead with his fast and faced arrest rather than seeking permission from the government. While this confused the government, the Congress response was inappropriate,” said Kumar.

Denying this, Congress leader Mohan Prakash said the party and the government had a common line of thought on the controversy. “We want to expose the claims of Team Anna that they are focusing on a strong Lokpal Bill. They actually want to malign the image of the government and the country,” said Prakash.

Prakash further said the parliamentary standing committee examining the Lokpal Bill has heard Team Anna on the issue. “But the panel needs to get the views of other social activists and experts in the country. In a democracy views of others are also important,” said Prakash.

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