Sensing that the Congress Government under pressure from the High Command has in the Parliamentary Standing Committee Draft Lokpal Bill has violated the “Sense Of The House Resolution” pledges given in Parliament has on December 11,2011 renewed his Anti-Corruption Crusade with a one day token fast.
Significantly, Anna Hazare has directly attacked Sonia Gandhi and particularly the Congress heir Rahul Gandhi as being instrumental in pressurizing the Prime Minister, Dr Mam Mohan Singh going back on the pledges conveyed to him after the Parliament passed the unanimous “Sense Of The House Resolution” urging Anna Hazare to call of his 13 day fast. Anna Hazare also publicly criticized Home Minister Chidambaram alleging that he tried to break up his massive protest demonstrations at Ram Lila Grounds in the manner that he made Delhi Police under his control break-up earlier Baba Ram Dev’s protests.
More significantly, Anna Hazare this time sent out invitations to all political parties to participate in his rally at Jantar Mantas and publicly spell out directly to the public their Party’s positions on the Lokpal Bill. All Opposition Parties participated with the exception of the Congress Party and its coalition allies.
The above adds a new dimension and a political one at that to Anna Hazare’s crusade against Anti-Corruption. Whatever prominent leaders like those of BJP and the Communist Parties articulated at the Anna Hazare rally gives an indication that the Parliament proceedings on December 19, when the Government introduces its version of the Lik Pall Bill will be very stormy.
The Congress Government and the Congress High Command seemed to have arrived at a conclusion that public resentment and public participation in Ana Hazare’s repeated demonstrations would peter out as a result of public fatigue on the issue. Even I thought that a strong turnout may not emerge yesterday. It was a huge surprise to see the massive public buildup by mid-day and which kept growing thereafter.
I think that the Congress Party and its Government is in a rude shock if this delusion persists with them. The public anger against corruption has peaked in India and the Congress Party is the main target of the Indian public as in their perceptions the Congress Party is deliberately going slow on this issue basically to hide many of their own. The Indian public perceives that if the Congress Party had nothing to hide or protect it would have committed itself to a strong and effective Jan Lok Pal Bill.
Media commentaries yesterday argued that while Congress Party spokespersons rhetorically defended the Congress Government’s version on the Lokpal Bill, but that their sources witthin the Congress Party indicated that they were at unease with their Party’s rigid stands and feared that the Congress Party image was going down an may end up adversely in terms of election results in the five State Assembly elections in 2012.
The Congress Party managers have tried to discredit Anna Hazare and Team Anna by all sorts of attempts to engulf them in financial irregularities so that their public image gets discredited and the movement dies down. Contrarily, it is the image of the Congress Party which is going down as the public perceives that through misuse of Governmental agencies, the Congress Party is indulging in vendetta politics.
Anna Hazare has threatened that if the Government fails to honor its pledges in this session of the Parliament concluding on December 23, then he would resort once again to an indefinite fast at Ram Lila Grounds from December 27.
All of this portends that 2012 will politically be very stormy for the Congress Party and its fortunes.