With the Centre dogged by controversies and criticism from all corners for the unwarranted delay in evolving an effective Ombudsman mechanism, Sonia Gandhi finally broke the ice on this issue. Her written speech read out during the foundation stone laying ceremony of a railway project in Uttarakhand correctly mentions that mere orations cannot wipe out corruption from the country.  Her advice to Team Anna for introspection is also a justified move, but the edification should also be followed by the Congress and the Centre as well. The Congress and the Centre have reaffirmed their commitment to introduce a strong Lokpal Bill in the Parliament during the winter session and have requested people to keep patience till then. However, it cannot be overlooked that had Anna Hazare not blown the bugle on this smoldering issue, the Centre would have not cared to introduce even a feeble and ineffective bill in the Parliament. Humiliated by scams-scandals, the Congress during the Plenary Session in December last year, had expressed its resoluteness to fight corruption and take the required measures to checkmate the menace. The affirmation in this context was made by none other than Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but on ground reality these measures have been reduced to files only. None is aware of the updates on the suggestions made by the Congress to counter the rampant corruption. Had Anna Hazare not kick-started his crusade, it was but for sure that the Centre would have definitely deceived the nation on this issue. The initial steps by the Centre to hoodwink the nation compelled Anna Hazare to start the second round of his crusade at Ramlila Ground. Had he not staged the second round of protest, the Union Government would have prepared the Ombudsman mechanism as per its whims and fancies. Does the Congress led Centre have any genuine answer for a simple question that why Anna Hazare had to a launch a crusade for creating an effective mechanism to rein in corruption?

Gratuitous panic mingled with political interference in the recent past has undoubtedly landed the Team Anna in the thick of controversy. Some questions  have been raised over Team Anna following the involvement of its few members on moral issues, but if assumed that the Gandhian and his team without waiting for the winter session has targetted the Centre for no rhyme or reason, then the Congress will have to explain Digvijay Singh’s role in the entire episode. The manner in which Digvijay Singh has launched a slugfest to malign Team Anna, it has made people believe that the Centre is more inclined towards tarnishing the image of crusaders rather than focusing on creating an effective Lokpal mechanism. Team Anna can be criticised for the claim that only its version on Lokpal is effective in fighting corruption, but is the Congress in a position to confirm the formation of effective Ombudsman mechanism and initiate the other required steps to counter corruption? Though debates on the issue are in full swing, the Centre has done nothing than making assurances on introducing few anti-corruption bills. If the Congress believes that by highlighting the failures of Team Anna it will conceal its own shortcomings, the party is living in a fool’s paradise.