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Of Course, I'm Concerned, Says Rahul Gandhi

PTI 25 Aug 2011, 16:52:32 IST

New Delhi, Aug 25 :   Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi today said that he was concerned over the logjam in the wake of Anna Hazare's agitation against corruption.

“Of course I am concerned,” was his brief response when asked whether he is concerned about the stand off on the Lokpal issue and Hazare's refusal to end the fast.

The AICC general secretary made the remark after coming out of the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting during which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee briefed party leaders on the Hazare issue.

Though Gandhi did not speak in the meeting, a number of party MPs including some young leaders made their suggestions and put questions to Mukherjee.

A number of Congress MPs had earlier disagreed with the way the Hazare issue was handled.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, chief negotiator in talks with Team Anna, today said government's stress on respecting constitutional process and Parliament's sovereignty has been twisted to make it appear that it is against the anti-corruption bill. 

Mukherjee said attempts are being made to take over the legislature's business and when the government stressed on respecting the constitutional process and the sovereignty of Parliament, an impression was sought to be given that government was opposing the measure. 

Briefing MPs on the Lokpal issue at a meeting of CPP, Mukherjee told them that while the fundamental rights of a person to demonstrate was important, Government is also duty bound to save a human life.

Voicing concern over the bad press government was getting on the Lokpal issue, Congress MPs wanted it to be pro-active in apprising people about the truth of the matter.  Rahul Gandhi as well as senior ministers were present at the meeting. Though Gandhi himself did not speak, several members, mostly young leaders, briefly apprised Mukherjee of their concerns and their expectations from the government. 

While expressing strong support for respect of parliamentary procedure and the constitutional process, the MPs urged the government to counter allegations by the civil society through interventions in both Houses of Parliament.

They also voiced concern over Hazare's calls to picket their homes and wanted the government to handle the issue politically. PTI