Your supporters misleading you, Digvijay tells Anna (Roundup)

October 11th, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare New Delhi/Hisar, Oct 11 (IANS) Taking on Anna Hazare ahead of the Hisar parliamentary by-poll, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh Tuesday asked the activist to ponder over his association with “Congress opponents” and see who was benefitting from this. Team Anna hit back saying their movement should not be held responsible if it benefits the opposition.

In an open letter to Hazare, the Congress leader said: “You are surrounded by people opposed to the Congress ideology.”

“Be it Shanti Bhushan, his son Prashant or your associate Arvind Kejriwal… they have all been Congress opponents… are busy pursuing their political ends and are exploiting your clean image,” Digvijay Singh said in his letter released to the media Tuesday.

Kejriwal reacted by saying “their movement should not be held responsible if in any way it benefits the opposition”.

“We are fighting for systemic changes. We are not campaigning for anyone or asking voters to vote for a particular candidate. We are not responsible if opposition is benefited. It is the Congress which is responsible for this,” Kejriwal told reporters in Hisar that goes to poll Thursday.

“If they make an announcement (about bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill) today, we will withdraw our entire campaign against Congress.”

Digvijay Singh, hinting at Hazare’s recent call to defeat the Congress in the Oct 13 Hisar Lok Sabha by-election, said “the activist was taking one-sided decisions, against his values, under the influence of such people”.

“You must think who is benefiting from your decisions. When you oppose the Congress, who are you seen with,” he asked.

Casting doubts on the credibility of Hazare over his links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Digvijay Singh said, “Your statements that you are not aware of RSS supporting your cause, raise doubts about your credibility.”

“Whenever I have mentioned involvement of RSS with your anti-corruption movement, you have suggested I be sent to a lunatic asylum,” he said.

The BJP hit back at Digvijay Singh and said the RSS was a school of patriotism which laid stress on building a strong character.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said a campaign had been launched agianst RSS as if it was a terrorist organisation.

“It is school of patriotism…RSS had also fought against Emergency,” Javadekar said, adding “the RSS did not have to learn lessons of patriotism from Digvijay Singh.”

Stating that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had announced a five-point anti-graft programme at the party’s Burari session in the national capital in December last year, Digvijay Singh said she had even asked the National Advisory Council to prepare a draft Lokpal bill.

The Congress general secretary asked Hazare to trust parliament, which endorsed his three demands on the anti-corruption Lokpal bill Aug 27, and wondered why he had still asked people to vote against the Congress.

“The process to pass the Lokpal bill will be completed in the winter session and you know this,” said Digvijay Singh.

Stating “it was good that clean people like Hazare joined mainstream politics,” Digvijay Singh said: “This should not be done with an anti-Congress sentiment.”

Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal and the Haryana Janhit Congress started by former Congressman Bhajan Lal, Digvijay Singh said: “If you are seen along with the corrupt in your fight against graft, how will the menace be curbed.”

Charging the BJP of having double standards on the issue of black money stashed in foreign banks, Digvijay Singh said its leaders never did anything to bring it back during their rule 1998-2004.

“You never raised a voice against the BJP. As compared to your excitement against the Congress, you praise Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi where there had been no Lokayukta for 9 years,” said Digvijay Singh.

He said while the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government has put behind bars former ministers, MPs and corporate leaders involved in corruption, the BJP did nothing against its corrupt leaders, including former president Bangaru Laxman, who was caught taking bribe on a TV camera.

On Hazare’s support to yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Digvijay Singh said: “You supported Swami Ramdev’s movement against black money but he is facing probe by the Enforcement Directorate for the same.”

Mentioning that the “BJP had promised to make Anna the next president of India”, Digvijay Singh cautioned the activist to “see through the allurement”.

“I respect you. You are welcome to join politics but choose your supporters carefully,” Digvijay Singh added.

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