The BJP on Wednesday backed anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare’s right to peaceful protest and tore into Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement over Hazare’s arrest. The BJP said that UPA government’s restrictions on public protests were unheard of even during the British period and demanded bold decisions to tackle corruption.
Terming the statement as disappointing and not inspiring confidence, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said that the country was exasperated with the government and the level of corruption under UPA’s rule and hence people were protesting in streets.
“Arrogance of power has become the character of the government,” said Jaitley.
Jaitley claimed that the problem with the government was that there were too many lawyers advising the Prime Minister and nobody understood that political problems had to be solved politically and not by police.
“Do you even recollect from British regime when these kinds of restrictions were imposed on freedom fighters and Gandhiji? You cannot impose such unnecessary conditions,” Jaitley said while denouncing the 22 restrictions by the Delhi Police on Hazare’s protest fast.
The party was also critical of conditions like limiting the number of people attending the protest, its duration and the number of vehicles at the protest site.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj also slammed the Congress and said, “Three people from the government are inside the jail. Anna Hazare is leading the country against corruption, government’s behaviour is bias.”
Sushma said she agreed with the Prime Minister on respecting the Constitution. “I want to ask the Prime Minister who disrespected Parliament. Who spoke to Anna’s team, the Prime Minister didn’t want Parliament in confidence then?”
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Sushma asked, “I want to know what puts the government off when we talk about RSS.”
She said we respect Parliament but human rights are supreme. “I completely reject the statement PM has given,” said the BJP leader.
Commenting on Congress’ spokesperson Manish Tewari’s statement, in which he called Anna Hazare corrupt, Sushma said, “I want to advise Manish Tewari, his career in politics has just started. He should be careful before making such statements.”
Slamming the conditions imposed by the government on Team Anna for the fast she said, “How can the government decide how long the protest will be? How can the government decide how many cars will come? We have just celebrated 64 years of independence and still fighting these small fights, this is a fight to get basic human rights of the countrymen.”
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