The war of words between activists allied to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and the government is not showing any sign of abating. Team Anna member Kiran Bedi today attacked the prime minister by comparing Manmohan Singh to Dhritarashtra of the Mahabharata. The analogy came in the context of the PM being “unmindful” of the irregularities in the coal block allocation, much like the blind king in the epic lending tacit support to his wily sons.
Law and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid hit back at Team Anna, accusing them of converting the anti-corruption movement to launch a “personal campaign”, and warned that the country would give them a “suitable answer when the time comes”.
Yesterday, the PMO had, in a letter to Team Anna, rejected their demand for a special investigation team to probe allegations of corruption against ministers of the Union cabinet. To this, Bedi, a retired IPS officer, tweeted “PMO clears Prime Minister. Did Dhritarashtra in Mahabharata not support Kauravas, even after they attempted to disrobe Draupadi? Indian genes/culture? Or?”
Today, Khurshid lamented that this was a “personal attack” being launched on the PM, and it was a threat that Team Anna has posed to democracy. The minister said he did not think that Team Anna “are being very helpful and very good to democracy in our country”.
“We all felt they started off with a good idea. One of containing corruption and questioning corruption,” he said.
“But today, they are doing the greatest disservice to the very idea by converting it into a personal campaign and personal ambition.”
Warning the civil society group about a backlash they could face, Khurshid said, “I will quite confidently say the country will give them a suitable answer when the time comes.”
On its part, Team Anna has decided to stick to its original plan, saying it would go ahead with an indefinite fast from July 25.
Meanwhile, MoS V Narayanasamy described Hazare as being “surrounded by anti-national elements” and those supported by “foreign forces”, alluding to his team members.
With both sides refusing to blink, it is likely going to be a protracted fight.