New Delhi, Apr 20: Responding to Anna Hazare's complaint against her “colleagues”, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today assured him that she does not support “politics of smear campaign” and she was strongly committed to the institution of Lokpal.
Writing to Hazare, the Chairperson of National Advisory Council (NAC) said she believes there is “urgent necessity” to combat graft and corruption and he should not “doubt my commitment in the fight for probity in public life”.
She pointed out that the Lokpal bill is very much part of the agenda of the NAC and a Working Group has been formed to evolve broad principles for discussion and approval in the next meeting of the Council on April 28.
“As for the statements appearing in the media, let me assure you that I do not support nor encourage the politics of smear campaigns,” Gandhi said in her letter to Hazare.
She was replying to Hazare's letter sent on Monday in which the social activist said a “smear” campaign had been launched against civil society members of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill and asked her to advise her “colleagues” not to try to derail the process of drafting of law.
He particularly complained against an unnamed minister, who is part of the 10-member joint drafting committee and a party General Secretary, believed to be Digvijay Singh who has been attacking his campaign.
“Let me reiterate what I wrote to you earlier, that I believe there is an urgent necessity to combat graft and corruption,” Gandhi told Hazare.
“You should have no doubt of my commitment in the fight for probity in public life. I strongly support the institution of a Lokpal that is consistent with the practices and conventions of our Parliamentary democracy,” she wrote.
Noting that Lokpal Bill was part of NAC's agenda, Gandhi said the Council's Working Group on Transparency, Accountability and Governance under the convenorship of Aruna Roy had held consultations on this subject on April 4 with several representatives of civil society including Shanti Bhushan, Santosh Hegde and Prashant Bhushan are in the joint committee.
Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal were also involved, she said.
“This is the very course that the NAC was following until the process was, as you know, overtaken by the subsequent events,” the NAC Chairperson said, apparently referring to the agitation by Hazare and the following developments. PTI