The Government has hit back after Anna Hazare said that Rahul Gandhi's hurry to become the Prime Minister has weakened Manmohan Singh, calling the comments unwarranted.
Anna Hazare on Sunday during his token fast for a strong Lokpal Bill attacked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying he no longer has any decision making powers and that he has turned into a mute spectator. Anna also blamed Rahul Gandhi for the Lokpal draft debacle.
"Why was the PM a mute spectator when people turned out in huge numbers at the Ramlila Ground." Anna asked during his fast.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid defended the Congress General Secretary saying it was Rahul Gandhi who had asked him to bring a strong Lokpal for which the country should be proud of.
"Rahul Gandhi told me only one thing and that is to bring a strong and effective Lokpal Bill, on which the country should be proud of...if this is what you call is weakening it, then I don't know what strong (Lokpal) is," he told reporters.
Khurshid said that if the government and its party leaders are liars, they must be thrown out of the nation.
National Congress Party leader Narayanasamy said, "Jantar Mantar is like a public meeting where people go and make a 'bhashan'. Ultimately the result will be zero, where in a place like Parliament, there will be a proper debate. Members of Parliament from various political parties will give their views and ultimately Parliament wisdom will decide the Lokpal Bill."
"Rahul Gandhi supported a strong Lokpal which Anna Hazare and company have been telling day in and day out. Unfortunately, they are blaming Rahul Gandhi for nothing," Narayanasamy said.
UPA in damage control mode
The UPA found itself isolated on Sunday when Anna Hazare sat on a token fast at Jantar Mantar and Opposition used his platform to embarrass the government.
The UPA is now eager to bring its allies and the opposition on board. Sources say that the Union Cabinet will be meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Lokpal issue. UPA allies will be meeting as well.
This ahead of an all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister on Wednesday. Sources say that the government plans to include Group C bureaucrats and the Prime Minister with riders under the Lokpal. Sources add that it plans to table the Lokpal bill between the December 19-22 in Parliament.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that the government is open to including the Prime Minister with safeguards and also include Group C employees under the Lokpal ambit.