Someone else is funding campaign for Hazare: Sibal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Someone else is funding campaign for Hazare: Sibal

At a time when Anna Hazare's arrest created a national storm, HRD minister Kapil Sibal stirred things up by questioning the source of the money used to run an "orchestrated" campaign against the government. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2011 00:31 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

On the day Anna Hazare's arrested created a national storm HRD minister Kapil Sibal fired a fresh salvo at Team Anna asking from where the money has come to run an "orchestrated" campaign against the government.

It was after Sibal had to face slogan shouting from youth wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) demanding release of Hazare at a seminar on lokpal bill, which was attended by three Delhi Congress MLAs and a former Delhi minister Mangat Ram Singhal.

The Congress workers in the audience swung into action and threw the protestors out of Malvankar Hall and started shouting slogans in favour of Sibal, who then asked them to restrain. "It is not a political function but an academic discussion," the minister, who was government nominee in the joint drafting committee on lokpal bill, said.

Making a detailed presentation on why Team Anna's protest against the government's lokpal bill was unconstitutional the minister accused Hazare of running an organized campaign.

"Crore of rupees have been spent on SMS…t-shirts have been distributed…regional channels are running 15 minute capsule of Hazare. You should know that someone else is funding the entire campaign," the minister said.

Adding a political motive behind Hazare's campaign, Sibal said some political parties, who wanted to destabilize the government, were supporting him without naming any party.

The minister also made it clear that the government was with Hazare on fight against corruption but differed on the way the protest was being organized. "One has to respect restrictions imposed by police as other citizens have equal fundamental rights as the protesters," he said.

He also took a jibe at the media saying that only Team Anna's view was being portrayed whereas that of other civil society activists such as Aruna Roy and JS Verma on lokpal bill did not find adequate space.

The seminar held under the banner of little known Jai Shree Society on Education had Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh and two former judges - BP Singh and RS Sodi - as other speakers.

All of them spoke against the concept of the lokpal and suggested that the government should strengthen the existing institutions to fight against corruption. "Adding another superbody in lokpal will not help," DU VC said. BP Singh said the lokpal will not have a "magic wand" to end corruption and wanted changes in existing anti-corruption laws to plug loopholes.

First Published: Aug 16, 2011 20:34 IST