Parties slam Govt for cracking down on Hazare team

Parties slam Govt for cracking down on Hazare team

Slamming the government for the police action against the Gandhian and his team, political parties accused the government of stifling the legitimate rights of the people and described it as a "sad day for Indian democracy".

"I think it is a very sad day for Indian democracy. You cannot take away the right to protest and the right to dissent....this we have never seen earlier. This is completely unprecedented," leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani said he was not surprised at the detention of Hazare and charged the government with looking for scapegoats and stopping peaceful protests instead of fighting corruption.

"I am not surprised at this development. This is the direction in which this government is moving. Instead of dealing with the problem of corruption and owning responsibility it is trying to find scapegoats and stopping peaceful protests," Advani told PTI.

Condemning the police action against Hazare and his team, senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat termed it as an "attack" on democratic rights of the people.

"We condemn the arrest of Hazare and his team and the ban on their hunger strike. We consider it as an attack on the democratic rights of the citizens," she said.

Questioning the government's intention to fight corruption, Karat wondered why the police action came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resolved to fight the menace.

"Yesterday, the Prime Minister mentioned his commitment against corruption 16 times in his Independence Day speech and next day he arrests people who want to peacefully protest against corruption.

"May be Congress leadership cannot tolerate anti-corruption movement because its own government is steeped in corruption, scams and scandals," she said.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde also lambasted the government, saying it is not at all fair in a democracy to deny anyone the freedom to express his views by way of protest.

"I don't think its fair at all in a democracy, merely because somebody wants to express his views by way of some protests," he said questioning the detention of Hazare "in a mid-night manner without serving a detention order, without saying where they are taking him."

"This is not the right way to do...Under article 22 (of Constitution), there is a procedure which has to be followed to detain a person," Hedge said.

Senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the Gandhian should have faith on Parliament.
"We want to tell Anna Hazare not to sit on fast. Parliament is there, Parliamentary Committee is discussing the Bill. Not only Hazare but we are also against corruption. We also want barring the President, everyone should be under Lokpal.

"Anna is not alone. We are also there. It is important to have faith in Parliament. If he takes this route deciding not to have faith on Parliament, it would not be good," he said.

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