Anna Hazare, who staged a one-day fast here on Sunday in protest against the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on the Lokpal Bill, targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he was “not able to take decisions” and there were “three to four people” who thought they were Prime Ministers, but did not take any name.
Mr. Hazare also attacked AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, saying “spending one day in a hut is just not enough” for him to aspire to be a Prime Minister.
“I don't have any fight with Rahul Gandhi. He is also young man. He dreams of becoming the Prime Minister. But spending one day in a hut is not enough. He has to spend months doing it,” Mr. Hazare said.
During his tours to rural areas, Mr. Gandhi has from time to time spent a night at homes of villagers.
Mr. Hazare accused Mr. Gandhi of being the person behind the watering down of the Lokpal report.
“When the Prime Minister has given in writing... then who can be behind that? It is Rahul Gandhi. Who else can influence? I think who has the courage to influence or to go against?” he said.
Mr. Hazare directly blamed Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his arrest on August 16 when he was to launch his fast and claimed that there was a plan to bundle him out of the capital as was done to Yoga guru Ramdev.
Mr. Hazare, who was arrested on the morning of August 16 and sent to 7-day judicial custody for trying to defy prohibitory orders, said he refused to come out of the jail after the government decided to release him.
“I was sent to Tihar Jail and I was given the jail uniform. When I was about to take some rest, one police officer came and told me that I had been released.”
“When the top police official told me that I had come out of jail and could not go back, I told him that I would remain in his office. There was a plan to take me directly to the airport and put me in an Air Force plane and take me to Pune,” he said.
“They wanted to do the same as they did with Ramdev baba in June. They wanted to take me out of the capital. Whose is behind these? Chidambaram,” he said.
After Mr. Hazare's arrest, Mr. Chidambaram had strongly defended the move and said the activist was taken into custody after the Delhi Police came to the conclusion that he and his supporters would commit a “cognisable offence” by defying prohibitory orders.
The Prime Minister had then told Parliament that Mr. Hazare and six others were arrested as a preventive measure.
It’s time-pass: Congress
Even as Mr. Hazare appealed to the Opposition to join his agitation for a strong Lokpal if they did not have the numbers to correct the government in Parliament, the Congress hit back at Team Anna and the Opposition, accusing them of putting pressure on Parliament.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal said Parliament was paralysed by people sitting on the dais with Mr. Hazare and they wanted to show the world that they were against corruption. “This is time-pass for them,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said: “Laws cannot be made at Jantar Mantar. I have no hesitation in saying that Annaji is insulting Parliament.”
CBI misused: Kejriwal
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal targeted the political class and accused the BJP and the Congress of misusing the CBI while in power.
He also took on Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee for not being vocal about the Lokpal like she was on the issue of FDI in retail.
Mr. Kejriwal criticised the government in the Taj Corridor case, alleging that the CBI had told the Supreme Court at one point that no case was made out against BSP supremo Mayawati.
“In August 2003, the CBI filed a case against Mayawati and in 2005, she was questioned. But in 2007, U.P. Governor T.V. Rajeswar Rao, who was perceived to be a Congress supporter, refused permission for filing an FIR.
“In return, Mayawati supported the Congress and voted in favour of its Presidential candidate Pratibha Patil. In April 2010, the CBI told the Supreme Court that it was closing the case against her. Then she supported the UPA during a cut motion. But in September this year, the CBI said it was going to chargesheet her as it had evidence against her,” he said.