Jail me if I am anti-national: Anna
PTI RALEGAN SIDDHI TRASHING allegations that his movement against corruption is foreign funded, Anna Hazare on Tuesday hit back at the UPA daring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to spell out which are the external forces behind it.
“It is wrong to call me antinational.
The government says I am a traitor. If I am, then put me in jail,” he said.
Addressing a press conference here, Hazare said allegations against his team were to divert attention from the demand for a strong Lokpal Bill and that if anti-corruption crusaders are viewed in this way, it is unfortunate.
“They (ministers) said that there are foreign powers behind Team Anna. They blame us but who are these foreign powers. They did not tell. What foreign power, which country, they did not tell. Such false accusations are not right,” he said.
“If the Prime Minister sees the anti-corruption activists as anti-nationals, that is unfortunate for the country.
If the Prime Minister feels that foreign powers are behind Team Anna, then it is necessary that he clearly tell the citizens who are those forces,” he said.
Hazare said a common person levelling allegations was a different matter but when PMO levels such charges it is serious. “You have such a huge network of intelligence, why don’t you work on it,” he said.
Though he does not believe that Singh or his family took money in the coal bloc allocations, Hazare, however, added there will be “no smoke without fire” and whether the Prime Minister was “not seeing the smoke”.
“It is clear from CAG report that there was huge loss and somebody has been benefitted.
Who are they?” he said.
Referring to PMO letter which said Team Anna has not given any evidence, Hazare said the CAG has reported everything. “If there is smoke, then there is some fire. Haven’t you seen the fire? You should have understood that there was fire when you saw smoke,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a new development in the coalgate scam, the CBI may examine the members of screening committee which were part of allocations made to various companies.
CBI sources said examination could be to take their help in understanding the alleged irregularities of the coal block allocation and their utilisation by the allottees.
However, the agency sources clarified that so far they have not found alleged involvement of any of the members of the screening committee and examination would be to clarify and understand issues involved in the allocation of coal blocks.
The allocation of coal blocks is done through mechanism of an inter-ministerial intergovernmental body called screening committee which is chaired by coal secretary.
It includes secretary of nine ministries having interests in coal, besides heads of various PSUs, and chief secretaries of coal supplying states are also part of it.
The role of screening committee is to decide on the eligibility of applicant seeking allocation of coal through detailed scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the agency has received crucial documents from the coal ministry and is scrutinizing them, they said.
The CBI had initiated a preliminary enquiry in connection with the alleged irregularities in the utilisation and allocation of coal blocks allocated to private companies between 2006 and 2009.
The agency has registered the PE, which is the first step of initiating the CBI probe, against unknown persons in connection with a complaint referred to it by the CVC.