Thursday, April 21, 2011

I don’t endorse ‘smear campaign’: Sonia writes back to Hazare

Updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 18:56

Zeenews Bureau 

New Delhi

Replying back to the anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s letter appealing her to stop “smear campaign” being run from inside Congress to “derail” the process of drafting the Lokpal Bill, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said, “I do not support or encourage politics of smear campaign.”

Hazare had complained to Sonia Gandhi against a Congress general secretary, apparently Digvijay Singh, saying he had been making irresponsible statements over the past few days. He also referred to an unnamed minister, seemingly HRD Minister Kapil Sibal who is also a member of Lokpal committee, and accused him of making false statements such as the civil society representatives have "succumbed" to government's pressure and "diluted" the law.

The iconic Gandhian in his letter had urged Congress president to join hands with him to "defeat" the corrupt.

Replying back to Hazare, Sonia said, “I strongly support the institution of a Lokpal that is consistent with the practices and conventions of our Parliamentary democracy.”

Expressing the dire necessity to combat graft and corruption, Sonia wrote back to Hazare, “You should have no doubt of my commitment in the fight for probity in public life.”

Earlier, the Congress officially backed party leader Digvijay Singh's right to express views on anti-corruption campaign of civil society activists even as it declined to comment on Anna Hazare's letter to party president Sonia Gandhi complaining about Singh's "factually wrong" statements.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had refuted Anna Hazare’s allegations against him, saying that they were “patently false” and had no "factual basis".


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