New Delhi: The Opposition on Thursday asked the Prime Minister to identify the "forces" he had alleged were out to undermine India's interests while spelling out government stand on Anna Hazare issue in Parliament. The parties also asked the ruling Congress to explain its statements that it suspected a "foreign" hand behind Hazare's anti-graft campaign and that the government should inquire "why the US is supporting this movement?" (Agencies)
"Let the PM explain. Whenever the government is under siege, it tries the foreign hand. It is an old tactic of the government," senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
CPI leader D Raja said, "If the Prime Minister has something in his mind that some forces are undermining India, he must identify these forces and clarify. Then only he can motivate the country. He must identify which are these forces,"
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while making a statement on Hazare issue in Parliament, had said, "There are many forces that would not like to see India realise its true place in the comity of nations. We must not play into their hands."
Raja asked, "Who are the persons who are trying to undermine India? You tell us clearly. The statement is vague. Now the PM has to clarify what he means by that?"
Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi, who had stated on Wednesday that the US was behind Hazare's agitation, maintained that "it is the first time that the US has said something like this and put pressure on the government to allow Anna to run his movement.
"This has never happened earlier. This is a big question, on which we have to think and discuss seriously," he said.
The BJP lashed out at the Congress for putting the blame on outside forces. "America and Congress party are like two bodies and one soul. Congress hand is with America's hand," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged. "It is the same Congress party which while protecting the interest of America had put the country's interests at stake. For the nuclear deal, they got the cash-for-vote-scam done."
Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain charged the Congress with putting their own blame on the US. "It is the Congress which is behind corruption in this nation, not foreign forces. No need to put the blame on others. The BJP condemns this."
He said, "When you murder democratic rights, people of the nation will come forward and protest. Indians can never play into the hands of foreign forces. They are putting a question mark on Indians? This is not right."
Hussain said, "People are angry with the government over corruption and for initiating action against people who are raising their voice against corruption."
On Alvi's contention of US supporting Hazare's movement, Raja said: "Now Congressmen outside Parliament are talking about US. Why then the Congress-led UPA Government is running after US for deepening the strategic partnership. Let them explain. Is it their policy or what?".
After Alvi, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat also expressed his reservation over the US statement. "What the American spokesman has said is objectionable. That is an insult to our democratic provisions. As a citizen of India, I feel hurt," he said.
US not behind Anna’s protest: McCain
Amid allegations by a Congress spokesman that the US was behind Anna Hazare's agitation, US Senator John McCain on Thursday said America neither gets involved in such agitation nor has any intention of doing so.
He also described Indian democracy as "strong and successful" which will be able to address the current domestic "disputes and conflicts", saying the current protests were "expression" of a democratic system, which may not be one of the most "pleasant experiences."
"The US does not involve itself in what is taking place in the world's largest democracy and neither has it had intention..," McCain told a press conference when asked about speculation that he cancelled his political appointments following the comments by Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi suggesting the US was behind Hazare's agitation.
Referring to a remark by US State Department Spokesperson urging India to allow peaceful protest", Alvi had on Wednesday alleged that "it is for the first time that the US has said something like this and put pressure on the government to allow Anna to run his movement...This has never happened earlier. This is a big question on which we have to think and discuss seriously."
McCain said people can have their views but there was only one set of facts. Noting that both India and his country were right now focusing on their own domestic challenges, McCain said "..our democratic politics will always be energetic and contentious that is the nature of democracy...
"India has strong and successful democracy which ensures the rights of its citizens. So, I am confident that India will be able to address its current conflicts and disputes to its own democratic system....", he said.
He also talked about how the Americans, who were not happy with the present situation and the government, were handling it.
New Delhi: The Opposition on Thursday asked the Prime Minister to identify the "forces" he had alleged were out to undermine India's interests while spelling out government stand on Anna Hazare issue in Parliament.
The parties also asked the ruling Congress to explain its statements that it suspected a "foreign" hand behind Hazare's anti-graft campaign and that the government should inquire "why the US is supporting this movement?"