Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari on Thursday regretted for levelling allegations against Anna Hazare that he was corrupt and appealed to the Gandhian to call off his ten-day fast.
But the apology by the Congress MP from Punjab did not cut much ice with Mr. Hazare since the anti-corruption crusader’s lawyer Milind Pawar said a case of defamation would be filed against him in a Pune court next week.
Two days before Mr. Hazare was due to commence his fast in Delhi on August 16, the activist was targeted by Congress for the first time when Mr. Tewari cited the Sawant Commission report and accused him of being “steeped in corruption from head to toe."
He had also alleged that Team Anna comprised “armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists funded by invisible donors."
“I know some of my recent utterances have caused hurt to Mr Hazare. I regret the same and I would like to appeal to him as a citizen of this country to end his fast,” Mr. Tewari said in Delhi.
“In the course of political cut and thrust, certain things are inadvertantly said which cause pain,” he said.
Mr. Pawar said that notwithstanding the regret expressed by Mr. Tiwari a defamation case will be filed against him.
“We will file a case against Manish Tewari under IPC Section 500 for the defamatory remarks made by him against Hazare on August 14, describing him as a corrupt person at a public forum,” he told PTI in Pune
Mr. Pawar, who returned to the city from Delhi last night, said Mr. Hazare’s Secretary had given him the go ahead for filing the criminal complaint against Mr. Tiwari.
Mr. Tewari’s comments had evoked strong reactions from the Mr. Hazare’s supporters.
Asked why the matter was being pressed by the Hazare camp even after Mr. Tewari publicly expressed regret for his remarks, the lawyer said the acceptance of guilt on his part did not mean that he should go unpunished for his “insolent” utterances against the veteran social activist.