Saturday, 15 October 2011

Will work with Congress if Lokpal Bill is passed in Winter session: Anna Hazare

After campaigning against it in the Hisar Lok Sabha by election, Anna Hazare on Saturday said he will work with Congress across the country if the UPA government brings a strong Lokpal Bill in the Winter session of Parliament and keeps its words on other reforms.
But he also sent out a warning to the Congress that if the Lokpal Bill was not passed in the Winter session he will work against Congress in the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states like in Hisar.
In an interview to Aaj Tak before going on 'Maun Vrat', the Gandhian said after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's latest letter to him he was encouraged that the government would bring a strong Lokpal, the channel said in a release.
"If the government brings a strong Lokpal and keeps its other promises, why should I oppose the Congress. In fact we will work with the Congress," he said referring to the Lokpal Bill and to electoral reforms including right to reject, decentralisation and more powers to gram sabhas.
Seeking to dispel the notion that Team Anna is anti-Congress, he denied that Team Anna had campaigned against Congress in Hisar at the behest of BJP and RSS.
"I have only seen him (RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat) on TV, I have never met him or spoken to him. These are all allegations. In politics political parties are ready to do anything. The Congress, BJP and RSS are together conspiring to defame Anna. I have nothing to do with the RSS or BJP," Hazare said.
Hazare denied that that he had received a letter from the RSS. "I don't even recognise Ram Madhav," he said when asked why the RSS leader was allowed on stage during the Jantar Mantar agitation.
He said he had never thanked BJP President Nitin Gadkari for the BJP'S support. "If someone else from my team did, I can't say."
In a rebuff to Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan, Hazare said he completely disassociated himself with his remarks on Kashmir.
"I am against anybody who talks about dividing the country. I am very uncomfortable with what Bhushan has said.
Our core committee will meet to decide on his continuing as a team member. After it meets. I will take a decision."
Hazare also said Arvind Kejriwal was wrong in saying that Anna Hazare is above Parliament. "Arvind Kejriwal has not told me what he has said. But if he did say Anna is above Parliament, it's wrong. People are above Parliament, not Anna."
He said he would tell his colleagues not to exceed their brief and speak on each and every issue.
Hazare laughed off Congress leader Digvijay Singh's claim that he was being set up as a Presidential candidate in 2012.
"I neither have the aptitude nor the desire to become President. In any case, if I become President I won't be able to do what I have been doing for society now."
He said the Congress and BJP were shooting in the dark by spreading such rumours.

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