Hazare dismisses his links with RSS
"The allegations prove that supporters of corruption in India have no valid issues left," he told PTI. The Gandhian said social leaders like Deshmukh were above political ideologies, and selfish party and power politics. "If there is a picture of mine with Nanaji, does it mean that the country does not need the Jan Lokpal Bill and there is no need to tackle corruption by ministers and political leaders," the 74-year-old activist asked.
Earlier in the day, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh had claimed that Hazare had once worked as a secretary with Deshmukh. The Congress leader also referred to a picture to support his remarks . "Anna Hazare worked as secretary with RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh and (got himself) trained in (sangh activities) in 1983 in Gonda. See Nai Duniya front page today," Singh today wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"And he denied any association with RSS! Now whom do we believe Facts with Picture and the claim of RSS or Anna ? I am again proved right," he tweeted. Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said such allegations were part of Congress` "tactics" to divert attention from the Lokpal Bill.
"Congress government is targeting Anna unnecessarily by spreading such rumours. Even former president Abdul Kalam and Digvijay Singh have been photographed with Deshmukh," Kejriwal said. He was addressing the media at the MMRDA grounds in suburban Mumbai where Hazare will be sitting on fast from December 27.
"What is the mistake of Anna Hazare? That he is raising his voice against corruption? He has got medals from the Army," Kejriwal said, adding wrong message was being spread against the anti-corruption crusader. Hitting out at the UPA government, Kejriwal said "the government is provoking us by saying Anna is an RSS agent,".