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Team Anna calls PM corrupt, seeks inquiry against him

Source: PTI
May 26, 2012 18:07 IST
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Team Anna on Saturday clubbed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with 13 other cabinet ministers, whom they accused of corruption, which the Congress dismissed as "unsubstantiated averments" that need not be responded to.

The anti-graft group, which has threatened to launch an indefinite fast from July 25, has picked up portions of a draft Comptroller and Auditor General report to make charges against Dr Singh when the coal ministry was with him. They had never made allegations against the prime minister before.

Besides Dr Singh and Mukherjee, the ministers against whom the Team Anna has demanded probe by an independent Special Investigation Team include Home Minister P Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Virbhadra Singh, Human Resources Development and Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Shipping Minister G K Vasan, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, Fertilizer and Chemical Minister M Alagiri and Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Dismissing allegations levelled by Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan and Kiran Bedi at a press conference, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, "I do not need to give an answer to unsubstantiated averments."

He said this is not the first time such things have been said and answered."It is not necessary that every unsubstantiated averment needs to be responded to."

Tiwari also referred to a report in a newspaper that Bedi has written to Hazare complaining against a non-government organization led by Kejriwal not using funds properly.

The Team, some of whose members have been accused of financial misconduct, denied the report.

Hazare and his close aides sent a letter to Dr Singh seeking setting up of an independent Special Investigation Team with three retired judges as it members to probe the charges.

They suggested that the government could select the judges from a panel of Justices Sudarshan Reddy, A K Ganguly, A P Shah, Kuldeep Singh, J S Verma and M N Venkatachellaiah.

In the letter, they said the SIT should investigate charges against the 15 "corrupt" ministers as well as those against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Jayalalithaa. They also said that the SIT can investigate charges against Team Anna.

"We will wait till July 24. If the government does not take steps to (set up SIT), we will go on an indefinite fast from July 25," activist Arvind Kejriwal the media.

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