Cong back Digvijay Singh on Lokpal Bill issue

New Delhi: Unfazed by Gandhian Anna Hazare`s complaint to party chief Sonia Gandhi on Lokpal Bill, Congress on Monday came out in support of party general secretary Digvijay Singh asking what crime he has committed by airing his opinion on the issue.

"He has been Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for two terms. He is a responsible leader in political and social field. Has he committed a crime?" party spokesperson Manish Tewari asked.

He was replying to a barrage of questions on Hazare`s letter to Gandhi in which he complained that "corrupt forces" have united to derail the process of drafting an effective Lokpal bill.

The refrain of Tewari was "in a democracy everybody is entitled to articulate his or her views. This course in democracy is not a one way affair.If in a democracy, if you cannot place your views in public space, it will spell death of democracy."

He also sought to fault Hazare and his supporters for not maintaining the sanctity of the debriefing process.

On the issue the controversial CD relating to one of the Joint Committee members Shanti Bhushan, Tewari said police have already lodged an FIR into the matter. "I have nothing to add or subtract," he said.

As the war over the alleged fake CD involving eminent lawyer and panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan intensified, Hazare said one of the strategies of the corrupt forces is to "smear the reputations" of civil society members in the committee.

Hazare, who is leading a campaign for a strong anti-graft legislation, today wrote a two-page letter to Gandhi, making veiled references to Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who has been attacking him, and to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, and asked her to advise her "colleagues" not to try to derail the process of drafting of law.

The Congress spokesman dismissed suggestions that Hazare`s letter indicated that there was a confrontation between the representatives of the civil society led by him and the government.

"The UPA and the Congress are totally committed to fight corruption," Tewari said.

At the outset, Tewari said that Congress has no intention of immediately responding to the letter by Hazare which he has made public.

Asked whether the letter showed that Hazare is "guided" by other people around him, he said that he was not going to be drawn into the contents of the communication. "If necessary, we will respond in a holistic manner."

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