Sonia hits out at Hazare

In a public address which  was read out by Defence Minister A K Anthony at a rally in Uttarakhand which she could not attend due to fever, Sonia Gandhi said corruption cannot be eradicated merely by giving speeches and pointing fingers at other.

Besides addressing the rally, it was expected that the Congress president would lay the foundation stone for the much-delayed Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project, at Gauchar in Chamoli district of the hill state.

“Everyone needs to look within. You cannot eradicate corruption like this where people think that corruption done by them is a holy affair while that by others is bad,” Sonia said in an obvious reference to Team Anna some of whose members have been facing allegations of financial misconduct.

Underscoring that Congress-led UPA government was the champion of Right to Information (RTI) Act that helped in unearthing several scams, Sonia Gandhi said: “All know that the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) and our party have repeatedly said that we are in favour of an effective and strong Lokpal bill. The bill will be presented in Parliament and will be implemented. Then why this hue and cry?"

The Congress chief’s target was clearly Gandhian Anna Hazare and  his team members, who have warned that they will campaign against the Congress in poll-bound states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, if a strict Lokpal bill is not passed in Parliament.

Calculated move
Considering the venue  — Utt­arakhand ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—the speech seems to be a calculated move.

State Chief Minister B C Khanduri earned praise from Anna Hazare for  the Lokayukta Act passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly, which Team Anna described as exemplary.
This is the first time Sonia Gandhi has spoken openly on the issue of Lokpal since veteran social activist launched his protest against corruption in April this year. Earlier, letters were exchanged between the two on the issue.

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