Hazares associates close to BJP: Digvijay

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said people close to Anna Hazare are "somehow close" to BJP and questioned the inclusion of father- son lawyer duo of Shanti and Prashant Bhushan in the ten- member joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill.

He also cautioned "simple and naive" Hazare about people close to him, saying they have "their own cause" to push and asked why he did not choose Aruna Roy or Harsh Mander to be on the joint drafting committee for Lokpal Bill.

The Congress leader disapproved of Hazare`s threat to go on protest if Parliament does not pass the Lokpal Bill by August 15 and his praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying that the veteran Gandhian should be careful of what he was speaking.

Describing Hazare as a "simple, naive, simple-minded villager" who is being "exploited by smart people from town area", Singh said, "I can`t call him to be supporting RSS or BJP cause. But he should be careful with some associates he chose.

"The banner which was used as the backdrop (at the protest site) Bharatmata resembled that of RSS. One should be careful. People who are close to the Gandhian were somehow close to BJP also," Singh told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN programme Devil`s Advocate.

He said the Gandhian was "unwittlingly" sending wrong signals and has become a front for some people.

On the presence of father-son duo Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan in the drafting panel, Singh said Hazare should have been careful in choosing the right people as only the other day the court had issued notices against the lawyers for alleged undervaluing of their property and evasion of stamp duty.

"He has been surrounded by a section of people who are trying to push their own cause. Why he has not taken Harsh Mander or Aruna Roy (in the joint committee)? They are also competent, honest and as dedicated as others. Even more, I would say.

"Arvind Kejriwal is a chela (follower) of Roy. If Roy has been taken, it would have been better," Singh told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN programme Devil`s Advocate. Kejriwal is one of the five civil-society members in the ten-member panel.

Singh also rubbished Hazare`s allegations that a section of people was trying to create discord in the movement and said such things were bound to happen as it had got hyped by media.

On Modi, the Congress leader wondered how he could praise the BJP leader as a "great Chief Minister" whe he has not appointed a Lokayukta for the past eight years. "There is no forum in Gujarat to complain about corruption," he said.

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