The statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament, on circumstances leading to the arrest of civil activist Anna Hazare, was disappointing, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Wednesday.

“PM who maintained silence over the issue all through has now broken his silence, but it is disappointing,” Mr. Kumar told reporters here.

“It is beyond comprehension what threat the movement launched by Hazare has to the government. Everybody has the right to protest democratically in a non-violent way,” he said.

Stating that the Centre was trampling on a peaceful and democratic movement and was afraid of the massive support to Mr. Hazare’s movement against corruption, the chief minister said, “Those sitting in Delhi should see the writing on the wall.”

Reiterating that the exercise was akin to the Emergency in 1974, he said lakhs were put behind bars during the J.P. movement.

“Those following in the footprints of J P should be allowed to fast at the park named after him. No pre-condition be set for allowing a democratic and peaceful movement,” he said.

In a veiled attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad for supporting the government’s stand on Lokpal, Mr. Kumar remarked “people can’t expect anything from the forces sitting in the lap of the Congress.”

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