Claiming that a "straight-forward and simple" man like Anna Hazare was surrounded by politically ambitious people, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Sunday launched an attack on Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, saying they need to look inwards instead of just terming politicians as criminals.
His attack came against the backdrop of Kejriwal and Bedi coming under fresh fire over allegations of financial malfeasance and using their influence for personal gains.
"These are people who call politicians criminals. My point is politicians may be criminals but look inwards too," Singh told 'Seedhi Baat' programme on 'Aajtak'.
On Bedi, he said she took concessional tickets for travelling but charged business class tickets from organizers who invited her.
He alleged Bedi misused the quota system to get her daughter a seat in a medical college when she was posted in Mizoram.
On Kejriwal, he said the activist is facing action from the Indian Revenue Service for violation of government rules.
Singh said Hazare was a "straight-forward, simple man but was surrounded by politically ambitious people like Arvind Kejriwal.
"Kerjriwal's political aspirations are coming out. Why doesn't he fight elections then. If they are so popular..as they seem to make out with opinion polls, why not enter the electoral fray," he said.
He said he had never been pulled up by the party for his outspokenness and on his attacks on Hazare. "I have never received a notice. Janardan Dwivedi has never called me up. Yes, Sonia did once tell me that I should not have called Chidambaram intellectually arrogant," he said.
To a question that there were people in the party who felt Rahul Gandhi did not have the leadership spark, he said, "I want to know which Congress leader has said this. Rahul is very focused. He has leadership and it is evolving. Rahul does not need to grab power."
Singh said Rahul keeps himself involved with his areas of responsibilities, which are Youth Congress and NSUI and does not get involved in matters which are to be tackled by ministers.
On reports that Priyanka was more suited for politics than Rahul, Singh said, "Both are different personalities. Rahul is interested in politics, Priyanka isn't. They are very close to each other, nobody can separate them. Delhi is a city where rumour-mongering has become an art."
He also defended Rahul for not meeting villagers from Hazare's village Ralegan Siddhi. "Rahul is not averse to meeting them. But they were never invited by him. It was Congress MP PT Thomas who invited them and announced it to the media.
"Rahul Gandhi is quite open to meeting anyone from Anna Hazare's side. But you should keep in mind that Rahul meeting anybody sent by Anna will have wider political implications," he said.
Singh, whose 10-year sanyas from holding a public office is getting over, dismissed the view that he was Rahul's 'Chanakya' and if the Gandhi scion became PM, he would be the obvious choice for Home Minister.
"The home minister takes the blame for everything that goes wrong," he said in a lighter vein.
However, he added, "I am happy continuing with what I am doing now. My job is to strengthen the Congress in UP and Bihar."