The Congress has once again launched an offensive against Anna Hazare and his team after party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday took a tough line on the Lokpal issue.
Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting, Gandhi was emphatic and assertive in listing out the action taken by the government to combat corruption.
And her remarks to journalists after emerging out of the CPP meeting that “she will fight for Lokpal and women reservation bills” triggered an aggressive posturing by Congress leaders against the Team Anna.
The party’s stand on Hazare and his team has been wavering since April this year when the veteran activist went on a hunger strike over Lokpal.
Strong statements by spokespersons Manish Tewari and Rashid Alvi that coincided with Hazare’s second fast in August triggered huge public outcry, prompting the party to rework its strategy.
Though it decided to refrain from launching personal attacks on Hazare, general secretary Digvijaya Singh continued to take on the Team Anna, alleging that its campaign was sponsored by the RSS.
On Wednesday, the party renewed the offensive. “No one can dictate terms to the government,” coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.
Another leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, “Parliament cannot function as per Hazare’s diktat”. Senior general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, “We are not worried about any challenge.”
At the CPP meeting, Gandhi also spoke about the food security bill, terming it a landmark decision. She also touched upon the issues of price rise, inflation, black money and virtually launched the poll campaign of five states including UP.
Gandhi saw no reason for the party to be “defeatist” and attacked the political opponents for creating an impression that there were differences between the party and the government.