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Congress Launches Frontal Attack, Says, Anna Hazare Is Corrupt

New Delhi, Aug 14: Ahead of Anna Hazare's proposed fast on Lokpal, the Congress on Sunday launched a no-holds-barred attack, saying he should first clarify the “serious” findings against him of a commission that probed
PTI August 14, 2011 18:52 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Aug 14: Ahead of Anna Hazare's proposed fast on Lokpal, the Congress on Sunday launched a no-holds-barred attack, saying he should first clarify the “serious” findings against him of a commission that probed graft charges and accused him of attempting to bring instability in the country.
 
“The fast from August 16 has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said, claiming that the “moral core” of Hazare has been “ripped apart” by the Justice P B Sawant Commission.
 
The Commission had probed corruption charges levelled by  Hazare in 2003 against four ministers in the then Maharashtra government.
 
“The fast from August 16 has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill. If that was the case Hazare would have first clarified the grave charges.
 
What is his clarification about the serious findings...The nation wants to know,” Tewari said, adding, “I think Hazare and his associates will need to answer conclusions of Sawant Commission.”
 
The party also charged  Hazare with systematically attempting to bring instability in the country and insulting Parliament before which the Lokpal bill has been brought.
 
“When someone tries to bring destabilisation, it becomes the duty of any political party to (fight back)”, he said in a stern signal to Hazare that “too much tolerance has been shown to him so far“. 
Tewari alleged that the ideological disposition of the Team Anna consists of “armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists...lurking behind forces of right reaction and funded by invisible donors whose links may go back a long way abroad”.
 
Appealing to other parties also to raise voice against the “insult to Parliament”, Tewari said this was needed as “some people have been bent on spreading anarchy and think it is their birthright despite the fact that five Ministers have held a series of talks with them” on the Lokpal issue.
 
Tewari, however, steered clear of questions as to why the then Maharashtra government headed by the party which had constituted the Sawant Commission had not acted against Hazare in spite of the findings.
 
“The issue is one of morality and not why the Maharashtra Government has been lenient or soft towards Hazare”, Tewari remarked.
 
During the media briefing, Tewari extensively read out about the findings of the Sawant Commission in connection with four trusts of  Hazare, including Hind Swaraj Trust formed in 1995 with the objective of rural development and moral education.
 
He claimed that Justice Sawant in the 116-page report has faulted Mr. Hazare for spending 2.2 lakh from the Trust for his birthday celebrations. He said the Commission held that the action was clearly illegal and amounted to a corrupt practice.
 
On the Yadav Baba Shikshan Prasaran Mandali, the Commission observed that for 20 years the Trust had not given its accounts.
 
Another Trust, Bhrastachar Virodhi Jan Andolan Sansthan was found by the Commission of having some workers who were “abusing the platform through extortion, blackmail, grabbing property of others”, he alleged.
 
Besides, he claimed that Mr. Hazare who swears by transparency has not replied to an RTI query as to his contribution when in service in the Army.
 
He said the RTI query was directed to him on May 27 this year and till today there has been no response.
 
The Congress also sought to drive a wedge among members of Team Anna by asking Santosh Hegde and Shanti Bhushan whether they have sought any explanation or clarification from  Hazare over the Sawant Commission findings.