Just a day after key members of his team levelled serious allegations of corruption against several ministers in the UPA government as also Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare today contradicted it, saying that the "Prime Minister is a simple man and there is no corruption case against him".
Prominent Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan had, on Saturday, written to the Prime Minister demanding for the setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe cases of corruption against 15 ministers, including him, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna. The anti-graft group has picked up portions of a draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to make charges against the Prime Minister when the Coal Ministry was with him. (Read: Team Anna targets PM and top ministers, demands probe by special team)
"Whatever agencies which have to stop corruption like the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department, all come under these ministers and the PM and it is these ministers that are corrupt," Mr Kejriwal had told reporters in Delhi. He, along with Mr Bhushan, also threatened to launch an indefinite fast from July 25 if the government failed to set up the probe agency.
Mr Hazare's clean chit, though, to the Prime Minister has emerged as yet another instance of growing disagreements and contradictions within his group of social activists fighting against graft. Just yesterday, the team was rocked by controversy after a leading daily reported that Kiran Bedi, a prominent activists, wrote to Mr Hazare slamming Mr Kejriwal's NGO, Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), over alleged mismanagement of funds. Ms Bedi, however, denied writing any such letter, saying she had never doubted Mr Kejriwal's integrity. Last month, Mr Hazare upset several members of his team after he lavished praise on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who has often been accused of supporting moral policing, often enforced with violence, and a strong stand against migrant workers in Mumbai.