Union government and the Congress on Tuesday termed as unfortunate Anna Hazare’s remarks that a ‘gang of four’ was behind a smear campaign against Team Anna and said there should be no encouragement for any “discord” with the ‘civil society’.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi questioned the choice of words like ‘gang of four’ to attack the Congress and the government and asked whether they were in tune with Indian ethos.

“We respect Anna deeply and it is unfortunate he used such words,” he said.

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid said “things will be said and people would think that they should say something. I don’t think we should engage in a dialogue of this kind through the media.”

“Please don’t try to create greater difference between civil society and the government... Whoever tries to create difference between civil society and the government is not working in the interest of the society,” he said.

Noting that the two sides have enough channels for direct communication, he said, “I am sure we have a lot of channels by which we can talk directly. I don’t think we should encourage discord and distance between civil society and government.”

Mr. Alvi also rejected contentions that the government was leaking documents to defame Team Anna but insisted “this is not important from where the documents are coming. What is important is that whether the documents have truth in them or not. They (Team Anna members) should reply to that.”

He said that it becomes all the more important for those fighting against corruption to answer people when allegations are being levelled against them.

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