Cong accuses Anna of playing 'politics' with fast

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Dec 12: With the ruling UPA government visibly cornered after Anna Hazare resumed his campaign for a strong Lokpal Bill, the Congress is taking to strong rhetoric to counter the attack caused by Anna and his team. With Sundays token fast by Anna getting a huge response, the Congress rejected the fast calling it "preemptive", "premature" and an "insult to Parliament".

The stinging comments were made by Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi who said, "I have no hesitation in saying that Anna is insulting Parliament. The Lokpal bill report has been submitted. There will be debate and decision will be taken. Laws cannot be made at Jantar Mantar."

The government spokesperson, Ashwani Kumar also voiced the opinion that the fast was "premature" and raised questions on Opposition leader of the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley's participation in the debate at Jantar Mantar on Sunday. Kumar said, "As far as Mr Arun Jaitley's going there is concerned, as the leader of his party in Rajya Sabha, he should have debated it (Lokpal bill) in Parliament."

Defending Jaitley's participation in the debate, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Political parties expressing their opinion on an important issue like Lokpal is utilising democracy. A debate anywhere is normal, the issue should not be confined to Parliament. Parliament will do whatever it has to do."

Cong spokesperson Alvi alleged that Anna was playing politics and stated the campaigns links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP. He added, "Anna himself said he will wait till the winter session but then he went to Haryana to oppose the Congress. The debate on Lokpal is not yet over in Parliament and they are staging this protest. Anna is saying we will oppose the Congress in all five states, if this is not politics what is it? I cannot say on whose directions they are working but the RSS has openly supported them and Anna wrote to (L.K.) Advani and said 'we are thankful for your help'."

Ashwani Kumar commented on Team Anna's campaign and said, "A public debate is, in a way, pre-empting and prejudging the issue which is really contemptuous to the judgment of parliament. I think these are matters which should be left to parliament."

Another Cong leader, Sanjay Nirupam stated in an interview to a TV channel that Team Anna was finding ways to "bother" the Cong.

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