M A I N   N E W S

MPs unite to slam Kejriwal’s ‘thieves & rapists’ remarks
Faraz Ahmed & Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 26
Parliament today reacted strongly to Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal’s “MPs are thieves and rapists” remarks at yesterday’s fast here, with members cutting across party lines to tell Hazare and his team not to cross the line.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, led the charge against Anna Hazare and his lieutenants, when the BJP has been loudly supporting Hazare, Baba Ramdev and their mobilisation of public support to fight corruption. BJP’s alma mater, the RSS, had publicly claimed that it mobilised public support to make Anna’s Ramlila Maidan show a success last August.

In stark contrast, Sushma today rose in the Lok Sabha and declared: "Team Anna has lost its focus, crossed all limits." She advised him to maintain his integrity while earlier her party had sworn by Anna’s integrity and sincerity of purpose.

“Those creating disaffection towards Parliament and democratic institutions are in effect inviting dictatorship,” she said and wondered how Team Anna expected this Parliament to pass the Lokpal Bill “if they keep denigrating Parliament and its members all the time”.

Arvind Kejriwal had described MPs as ‘chors’ (thieves) dacoits and rapists at Anna Hazare’s one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar yesterday. Kejriwal, leading Anna Hazare’s front ‘India Against Corruption’ and lobbying for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill, claimed that their numbers were 165 in Parliament and 14 among ministers. Janata Dal-U president Sharad Yadav took up from where Sushma let off: “How can you call us murderers? Are we murderers here? This (the charge) as an attack on the institution of Parliament.”

Sharad has frequently changed his stance on Anna.

At first he attacked Anna and TV channels relaying his hunger strike 24x7 and lionising him. Then Yadav along with CPI general secretary AB Bardhan, CPM MP Brinda Karat and led by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, they rushed to Anna’s join Anna on the dais, encouraging him to press for his Jan Lokpal Bill.

Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam endorsed Sushma and Sharad’s views: “Team Anna members call themselves representatives of civil society, but they themselves used unparliamentary language. They conducted themselves in a highly irresponsible and uncivilised manner.” CPM leader Basudeb Acharia and SP MP Shailendra Kumar too condemned Team Anna for denigrating the MPs.

Kejriwal hits back

When they tore the (draft Lokpal) Bill inside Parliament, was that not un-parliamentary? When Sharad Pawar was slapped, Parliament debated it for two hours, but when Narendra Kumar dies, no one cares... Targeting Team Anna is not the solution... We urge politicians to introspect. — Arvind Kejriwal





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