Team Anna released photographs of some Congress leaders with former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Nanaji Deshmukh as it slammed the party over its renewed allegations about the social activists’ saffron links.
The Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) also slammed the Congress for raising a ruckus over the photograph published in a daily. The photographs released by Team Anna show Congress leader Motilal Vora sharing the stage with Deshmukh. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress leader Balram Jharkhar have also been photographed with Deshmukh. In one of the photographs, Deshmukh is sitting alongside former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Jhakhar.
Earlier in the day, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh alleged that Hazare had links with the RSS. Referring to the photograph published by a Hindi daily, Singh tweeted: ‘And he denied any association with RSS! Now whom do we believe Facts with Picture and the claim of RSS or Anna? I am again proved right.’ His party colleague and union minister Beni Prasad Verma joined the tirade against Hazare, saying he was an ‘RSS agent’ and ‘army deserter’. Congress spokesperson Raashid Alvi said that Anna should come clean on his links with the RSS. ‘Which ideology Anna follows is his personal decision.
But there should be some honesty about it, people have the right to know what your ideology is. People must know,’ Alvi said. But Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal rejected the allegations, saying Hazare was ‘an agent of the country’. ‘Anna is an agent of our country. When they (government) don’t have anything to say, they say these things…Why do they not pass Jan Lokpal bill, why do they want to keep CBI in their hands,’ Kejriwal said, adding that the Congress wanted to divert the attention of people. Another Hazare associate Kiran Bedi tweeted: ‘Does sharing of the dais make one each other’s agent? Next time shud one sit alone? When two persons share a dais do they become each others agents? (sic)’ Hazare is slated to start a three-day fast in Mumbai from Tuesday to press for a stong Lokpal bill. His fast will coincide with the expected debate in parliament on the long-pending anti-corruption legislation.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Congress was raising irrelevant issues. ‘The Congress has lost its mind. And it is because of their frustration that they are talking rubbish and asking inane questions which need not be answered,’ Javadekar said. ‘Nanaji was a great patriot and activist. All parties had good relations with him. Who made this allegation? Digvijay Singh? He also has many pictures with Nanaji,’ Javadekar added.
- Anna writes to PM, Cong-Hazare war gets personal (ibnlive.in.com)
- Team Anna-Govt at loggerheads over RSS photo (ibnlive.in.com)
- ‘Centre provoking us’ (thehindu.com)
- Anna Hazare is an absconding soldier: Congress (ibnlive.in.com)