Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, who had kicked up a controversy by accusing Anna Hazare of corruption but later apologised, has recused himself from Parliament's Standing Committee that is looking into the Lokpal issue.
"I am all for a strong and effective Lokpal. I do not want any controversy to cast a shadow on the deliberations of this important bill. I, therefore, recuse myself from the Standing Committee," Tewari told PTI on Monday.
At the outset, he said, he had seen speculation in the press with regard to his continuance as a member of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice. The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on September 7. Video
Two days before Hazare was due to commence his fast in Delhi on August 16, the activist was targeted by the Congress spokesperson for the first time when Tewari cited Sawant Commission report and accused him of being "steeped in corruption from head to toe".
A few days back, Tewari, however, apologised for levelling allegations against Hazare and appealed to the Gandhian to call off his fast.
But the apology by the Congress MP from Punjab did not cut much ice with Hazare since the anti-corruption crusader's lawyer Milind Pawar said a case of defamation would be filed against Tewari in a Pune court next week.
"I know some of my recent utterances have caused hurt to Mr Hazare. I regret the same and I would like to appeal to him as a citizen of this country to end his fast... In the course of political cut and thrust, certain things are inadvertently said which cause pain," he had said.
Tewari, while going ballistic against Hazare, had earlier also said that Team Anna comprised "armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists funded by invisible donors".
Tewari's comments had evoked strong reactions from Hazare's supporters.