Government underestimated Anna’s movement: Anil Shastri

August 22nd, 2011 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) In an indication of unease in the Congress about the handling of Anna Hazare’s fast, party leader Anil Shastri said Monday the government underestimated his anti-graft movement and urged it to start talks with the activist.

“Anna’s movement against corruption was underestimated by government. It is time that it entered into dialogue with him to end his fast,” Anil Shastri, who is a special invitee to Congress Working Committee, said on Twitter.

Shastri, a former editor of party mouthpiece Congress Sandesh, now heads the Hindi Vibhag of All India Congress Committee (AICC).

In yet another tweet, Shastri, without naming union Minister Virbhadra Singh, said his remark about Hazare’s fast was in bad taste.

Singh, while answering queries, had termed Hazare fast as “madari ka khel” (street performer’s show).

Shastri said in his tweet: “A senior union minister says even a ‘madari’ could gather crowds. This is in bad taste. Anna’s crowd is a movement against corruption.”

Apart from Shastri, Congress MPs Sandeep Dikshit and Madhu Goud Yaskhi have expressed strong reservations over the decision to arrest Hazare at the start of his fast Aug 16.

Yaskhi told IANS that decision to arrest Hazare was a mistake and the move to lodge him in Tihar Jail was “a big blunder”.

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