Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee slammed the intentions of Anna Hazare- led Civil Society by claiming that though the protest was  legitimate, their demands were unconstitutional. The Congress leader said that if the Civil Society members have an overwhelming support, then why do they not contest the elections?

In hard hitting remarks targeting BJP, Mukherjee said, “Worried by the results of recent assembly elections, BJP is provoking the Civil Society members. This is not a fight between government and Civil Society, but it is a direct confrontation between Centre and the opposition parties.”

He claimed that Congress has taken the entire episode as a major challenge. “We are ready for the task, and we will inform the people about the truth behind the agitations by Civil Society members.”

Mukherjee also ruled out Hazare’s demand for videography of the drafting process of the Lokpal Bill, saying this was not possible in view of the fact that the drafting committee members may not express their views freely before the camera. “We have decided to have an audio recording of the meeting, and we are clear on our stand, he added.

Referring to Hazare’s August 15 deadline for the implementation of the Lokpal Bill, Mukherjee said, “We have suggested that the Bill be tabled in Parliament during the monsoon session. But commenting anything further is not possible for us?

He maintained that the UPA government with the support of some foreign countries is making best possible efforts to control corruption. “Till date the government has been successful in recovering Rs 64,000 crore which have been directly or indirectly with corruption,” he added.

He suggested the BJP to their own performance before making allegations at Congress. “BJP national president Bangaru Laxman was caught taking bribe red-handed on a national television channel, whereas former CM of Maharashtra  Ashok Chavan was removed after similar allegations,” he added. Mukherjee did not fail to mention that four minister including him had gone to meet Ramdev for discussions.

Congress to release booklet
Pranab Mukherjee has announced that Congress will release a booklet to expose the truth behind the protests of Civil Society. He pointed out that the entire country would be appraised of the activities of Civil Society.

“Programmes would be held in each state in which top party leaders would participate,” he added. Mukherjee said that a list of these programmes to be held is being prepared. He added, “It has already been exposed that BJP and RSS are behind these protests, therefore now it is our responsibility to bring out the real motive behind the agitations.”

He further stated that since the time the name of few BJP and RSS activists have cropped up in Malegaon blasts, Congress has been the prime target for the saffron brigade. 

(JPN/ Bureau)