The Congress on Friday strongly defended the government’s stand on Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign, saying it walked an “extra mile” to address their concerns.
However, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi was quick to add the government’s acceptance of the demand for the joint committee should not be construed as a precedent or principle.
“We have utmost deference and respect for Hazare. We have tried to engage with him at every stage...despite no precedent we still agreed to a joint drafting committee. We also agreed to have their five members and five from the government in the committee” Singhvi said.
He blamed the “obstinate and intransigent” attitude of the social activist’s supporters for the impasse. “The ball is in their court....We have agreed with every substantial demand...Absolutely no substantial or real issues remains to be resolved...Are not some of the members of the civil society being obstinate and intransigent”, he said.
In a message to Hazare’s supporters, Singhvi said: “We cannot lose sense of balance. We are a government by constitution. Jingoistic and populist slogans cannot take place of substance”.
Putting the onus on Hazare’s associates for his health condition, he suggested that the impasse arose due to demands by his supporters that the chairman of the joint committee for drafting the Lokpal bill should be from civil society and that government should notify the committee.