Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anna spills his Salman secret - By Atikh Rashid - The Indian Express, Mumbai, India

If Congress is serious and agreeable to include all Anna's recommendations on Lok Pal bill, why should it indulge in such covert skullduggery to secretly make a deal with Anna on condition that he pull out of his scheduled protest program? It is rather very simplistic of Anna Hazare to fall for Congress's such Machiavellian trickery.

On the other hand, It's so shameful for any Congressman, or any person in public life, to be so devoid of conscience to be playing such dirty games, for whatever grand objective he/or his party has in mind.

Salman Khurshid has clearly proved that he is a mere poodle for the Gandhi family and would do anything to carry out his master's command, however immoral, unethical and shameful be the action in the eyes of the people of India.

Ghalib's famous couplet fits Salman:

Bana hai Sheh ka musahib, phiray hai itraata
Wagarna Shehr main Salma(n) ki abroo kiya hai

 بنا ہے شہ کا مصاحب پھرے ہے اتراتا
و گرنہ شہر میں سلماں کی آبرو کیا ہے

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


The Indian Express

Anna spills his Salman secret
Atikh Rashid : Ralegan Sidhi, Thu Jul 19 2012, 02:30 hrs
Anna Hazare on Wednesday confirmed that he met Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid at a spiritual centre 62 km away on June 23.

He said that it was Khurshid who had approached him, through Shiv Sena MP Rajkumar Dhoot, for back-channel talks on the Lokpal Bill. He said he didn’t speak about the meeting earlier because Khurshid had put a condition of confidentiality.

Speaking at a press conference in the presence of Arvind Kejriwal, Hazare said he was forced to disclose the meeting and its details because it became clear to him that the secret meeting was a conspiracy of the Union government to create a rift in Team Anna.

Hazare’s aides also circulated copies of a three-page letter he wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday about the meeting, the alleged betrayal and the government’s ploy to create a rift within the team. He also wrote that he would not meet anyone in the government in the future and would continue the campaign against corruption.

“The government had sent Salman Khurshid sahab to hold secret negotiations with me so that I do not participate in the July 25 and August 9 fasts,” alleged Hazare, who started his letter to the PM by saying that he intended to participate in both.

“I got a message from Khurshid saying that he wanted to meet me as the government was willing to pass a Lokpal Bill as per our suggestions. He said that they were willing to incorporate all our important suggestions on the citizen’s charter, Lokayukta in states, bringing lower bureaucracy in the ambit of the Lokpal, CBI’s independence etc. I thought there was no harm in taking two steps back. So keeping in mind the larger public good, I accepted this invitation,” said Hazare.

“Khurshid said that after meeting me, he would talk to the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. When they agree (on the changes), then a press conference would be held,” he said.

Hazare said that after a few days, he received a message from Khurshid saying that the PM, Sonia and MoS V Narayanaswamy had agreed to his demands. Hazare said he asked how they planned to incorporate these new provisions in the Act as the government’s draft of the Lokpal Bill had been passed in the Lok Sabha and was with the select committee.

“I asked them if they were ready to put a revised draft in Parliament but never got any response. Instead, Narayanaswamy wrote a letter to me and sent copies to my associates directly. In this letter he wrote that he had informed the PM about how I helped them in creating a consensus on the Lokpal issue. On the one hand, Khurshid requests me to keep the meeting confidential and on the other hand Narayanaswamy discloses the meeting to my associates and to the press. This created a doubt in my mind that it could be a conspiracy of the government to create a rift in my team,” said Hazare.

Hazare said that he had informed Kejriwal about the meeting with Khurshid on June 24 but all other members were kept in the dark. When asked if he didn’t feel the need to take his associates into confidence before secretly meeting Khurshid, Hazare said that he didn’t think that was important. “While I was fasting during the Ramlila agitation last year, I had spoken with the government emissaries on my own without keeping anybody else in the loop,” he said.

There was no immediate reaction from either the Prime Minister’s Office or the Congress Party to Hazare’s disclosure. While the PMO refused to comment, Congress sources expressed surprise about the meeting but refrained from commenting “without ascertaining the facts”. Narayanaswamy refused to comment.

On June 24, The Indian Express had contacted the Law Minister to ask about the secret meeting. Khurshid categorically and repeatedly denied having met Hazare. Following Hazare’s disclosure on Wednesday though, Khurshid did not respond to telephone calls and SMSes.

Kejriwal, who travelled to Ralegan Siddhi from Delhi on Wednesday after the news of the “secret meeting” broke out, said that Hazare had met Khurshid in good faith and there was no question of this meeting creating any rift in Team Anna. “He didn’t meet him (Khurshid) to ask for some personal gifts or a ministerial berth. He acted in good faith. He didn’t know that it was a conspiracy. Yesterday, I spoke with all the members of Team Anna and they do not have any issues,” he said.

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