"No contradiction between my and Manmohan's statements"

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has denied that there was any contradiction between the statements made by himself and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Anna Hazare issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

In his statement, the Prime Minister had said the Delhi Police decided to ask the magistrate concerned to review his order remanding the anti-corruption activist to seven days of judicial custody because Mr. Hazare intended to challenge his arrest in the Supreme Court. “Since there were reasonable grounds to believe that Shri Anna Hazare had opted to seek legal remedies, the Delhi Police did not apprehend any imminent breach of peace or imminent disturbance to tranquillity if the arrested persons were released,” the Prime Minister said.

Speaking later, Mr. Chidambaram said the police had acted under a broad political directive from the Centre, something Dr. Singh had not mentioned.

In a letter to The Editor on Thursday, Mr. Chidambaram took exception to a report in The Hindu which said these explanations amounted to “different versions.”

“I maintain that upon hearing that Shri Anna Hazare had been remanded to seven days' judicial custody, we advised the Delhi Police to apply to the magistrate for a review of the order,” Mr. Chidambaram said. “The Delhi Police, in consultation with their counsel and based on information available to them, applied for a review on certain grounds.”

Appending a copy of the application the SHO of the Pandav Nagar police station made to the district court, Mr. Chidambaram said: “You will note that paragraph 10 of the Prime Minister's statement is a faithful reproduction of the contents of the Delhi Police's application.”

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