NEW DELHI, Aug 17 � Suspecting a �foreign� hand behind Anna Hazare�s anti-graft movement, Congress today raised questions on the US� statement that India would exercise �appropriate democratic restraint� in dealing with peaceful protest and asked the government to inquire how a �lone� civil rights activist is drawing support, reports PTI.
�US never supported any movement in India since its independence. For the first time, the US said that Anna Hazare�s movement should be allowed and there should be no obstruction to it. What was the need for the US to give this statement?
�It needs to be considered whether there is any power which is supporting this movement which wants to destabilise not only the governmnet but the country. We need to take the statement of the US seriously,� party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters at the AICC briefing.
Asked whether it is the official position of the party and whether he is saying all this on the party�s behalf as UPA government has many times in past been attacked by the Left over an alleged pro-US tilt more so after India signed the nuclear deal, Alvi said: �All that I have said I have said on behalf of my party.�
Asked whether Congress has made preliminary inquiries before making this allegation suggesting that the US was behind Anna�s agitation, he said: �Government should inquire about it and find out the truth�.
Alvi accused Hazare of �blackmail� on the issue saying Parliament is supreme and laws cannot be made in Jai Prakash Narayan Park, the proposed venue of Hazare�s protest.
�If Anna Hazare says that pass our Bill or we will go on fast, it is nothig but blackmail,� he said.
The Congress spokesperson regretted the decision to arrest Hazare saying �there are occassions in the history of nations when some decisions have to be taken in national interest even if the heart does not allow it�.
�Anna Hazare�s arrest was a similar step which the government had to take out of compulsion,� he said, adding the Constitution also permits reasonable conditions to be put while granting the freedom of expression.
Alvi at the same time said: �There are some forces also within the country (that are supporting Hazare�s agitation from behind), which needs to be found out....I am not criticising the US or any other country. But we will have to find out the truth, why US is supporting this movement�?
�Anna is alone. Anna has no organization but only a few friends standing by him. The big question is how this movement came into existence? How people in such a large number come out to support him�? the Congress leader said.
Ahead of the proposed August 16 fast against corruption by Hazare, the US State Department spokesperson Victorial Nuland had hoped that India would exercise �appropriate democratic restraint� in the way it deals with peaceful protest.
The remarks drew a sharp response from India which termed as �needless� and after that Nuland had yesterday exuded confidence in India�s ability to manage its �internal situation� in consistent with democratic values.