Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Tuesday once again took potshots at senior leaders of the Congress. He has also denied reports of rift within Team Anna, which comes in the backdrop of yoga guru Baba Ramdev virtually snubbing Arvind Kejriwal at the rally in Delhi.
Commenting on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the 74-year-old activist said the notion about the PM used to be that he was clean, but the papers (referring to the CAG report on coal allocation) say something else. “He (Dr Singh) might have not benefited himself, but the money has gone somewhere,” Mr Hazare said, adding that the PM only functions under “remote control”. He also said many ministers would have to go if the Jan Lokpal was brought in, and “the first to go will be (Union minister) P. Chidambaram”.
Mr Hazare also said he believed parliamentarians shouldn’t accept salaries when the country is reeling under economic crises. “You call yourself sevaks (servants). Then why take salaries?”
The septuagenarian also referred to the alleged corruption in the government’s irrigation projects in the state.
“There is rampant corruption in construction of dams and schemes. Around half the taps given to villages are running dry,” he said, adding that AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s single visit to the drought-ridden Satara district in Maharashtra won’t change anything.
“The yuvraj comes in a helicopter from Delhi and goes back soon. This will hardly solve the water problem,” he said.
The activist also rubbished Ramdev’s snubbing of Mr Kejriwal for targeting individual leaders at the rally in Delhi, calling it just “a media creation”. “The yoga guru just wanted the speeches to revolve around black money and Lokpal, and hence did not want to divert from the topic,” he said.
Congratulating new Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar, Mr Hazare appealed to the master blaster, saying, “You fight while sitting inside,
we will fight from the outside. Our cause is the same.”