NEW DELHI: Veteran social activist Anna Hazare Wednesday said Prime Minister Manmohan was being controlled by a ‘remote’, which prevented him from taking strong steps against corruption.
“The PM is a good man, not corrupt, but this remote control is causing problems. People who do not have power cannot take decisions, which is the case with our PM,” Hazare told reporters on the second day of his hunger strike, demanding a stronger anti-graft legislation.
Hazare, who has named his fast a “second Satyagraha” on the lines of the movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi against the British rulers, has been joined by thousands of supporters all across the country and abroad.
On Wednesday, Hazare wrote a strongly-worded two-page letter to the prime minister, asserting that he was hurt at innuendos that his fast was “instigated” by others.
“This is an insult to my sense of wisdom and intelligence. I am not a kid that I could be ‘instigated’ into going on an indefinite fast. I am a fiercely independent person. I take advice from many friends and critics but do what my conscience directs me to do,” Hazare wrote in his letter.
“I am pained that the government, rather than addressing the issue of corruption, is trying to allege conspiracies when there are none,” he added.
The activist mentioned that so far, every government has shown complete insensitivity and lack of political commitment in tackling corruption.
“62 years after independence, we still do not have independent and effective anti-corruption systems. Very weak versions of Lokpal Bill were presented in parliament eight times in the last 42 years. Even these weak versions were not passed,” the letter added.
At a time when the country has witnessed scams of unprecedented scale, the impatience of the entire country is justified, he added.
Hazare also expressed his apprehension about the Group of Ministers which is drafting the anti-corruption law.
“If effective anti-corruption systems had been in place, some of them (ministers) would have been behind bars. Do you want us to have faith in a process in which some of the most corrupt people of this country should draft the anti-corruption law?” he asked.
He advised the prime minister not to mislead the country by saying that he (Hazare) and his supporters were shunning dialogue.
“Tell me a single meeting when you called us and we did not come. We strongly believe in dialogue and engagement,” Hazare said.
Speaking to reporters, Hazare said he would be happy if he died for a noble cause.
When asked about the solution to the menace of corruption, Hazare said that youth should enter politics and change the system.
“I am happy to see so many youngsters present here, it gives me strength. The youth should enter politics and work for the betterment,” said Hazare.
Quitting GoM not enough, Pawar must quit as minister: Hazare
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Wednesay night stepped up attack on agriculture minister Sharad Pawar saying he resigning from Group of Ministers on corruption will not serve purpose and he should quit the Union council of ministers too. “So what if he resigned from GoM, Pawar should resign
as Minister also. When he was chief minister, I returned the Padmashri. Our problem has not been resolved by Pawar resigning from GoM.
“One Pawar goes, another will come. We want a joint committee,” Hazare, who is on a fast-unto-death on Lokpal Bill issue, told reporters reacting to Pawar’s resignation from the GoM.
Pawar earlier said that he has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informing him that he does not want to be remain with the ministerial panel.
The panel is headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Pawar’s action came hours after he said that he would be happy to be relieved from all ministerial panels, including that on corruption.
Hazare(72) had said on Monday, “A minister like Sharad Pawar, who is known for possessing large amounts of land in Maharashtra, is heading a committee that will draft the (Lok Pal) Bill.”
Don’t insult this movement, Hazare tells Manmohan
NEW DELHI: Anguished by the Congress-led coalition government’s critical response to his agitation, veteran social activist Anna Hazare wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday urging him to stop finding faults and suspect any conspiracies in the movement.
Hazare, whose indefinite fast for enactment of the Lokpal Bill with stringent measures against corruption has mobilized people across India, said that he was pained to read and hear about government’s reaction to his stir. ( Read: What is Lokpal Bill )
In his letter to the PM, Hazare said that it was alleged that he was being instigated by some people to sit on this fast. “This is an insult to my sense of wisdom and intelligence. I am not a kid that I could be ‘instigated’ into going on an indefinite past. I am a fiercely independent person. I take advice from many friends and critics, but do what my conscience directs me to do,” he wrote.
“It is my experience that when cornered, governments resort to such malicious slandering. I am pained that the government, rather than addressing the issue of corruption, is trying to allege conspiracies, where there are none,” Hazare added.
The veteran, who has been on the fast for the last two days, expressed disappointment for being accused of showing impatience. “So far every government has shown complete insensitivity and lack of political commitment to tackling corruption. 62 years after independence, we still do not have independent and effective anti-corruption systems. Very weak versions of Lokpal Bill were presented in Parliament eight times in the last 42 years. Even these weak versions were not passed by Parliament. This means, left to themselves, the politicians and bureaucrats will never pass any law which subjects them to any kind of objective scrutiny. At a time, when the country has witnessed scams of unprecedented scale, the impatience of the entire country is justified.”
Hazare concluded his two page letter by urging the PM to stop finding faults and suspecting conspiracies in “our movement”. “There are none. Even if there were, it does not absolve you of your responsibilities to stop corruption,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had said, “The Prime Minister has already constituted a sub-committee headed by Antony. When the process was already on, then adopting such a path is perhaps not appropriate, probably unnecessary. We respect Hazare very much, but the path he has adopted is premature.”
Noting that the Prime Minister’s Office has expressed disappointment over Hazare’s decision, Tewari had said, “In a democracy, the government moves the Bill and Parliament enacts it. And in between there is enough scope that if any constructive suggestion comes, amendments can be moved.”