Omar Abdullah hurt by Anna’s harsh barbs

Seemingly pained by Team Anna’s rebuke for politicians, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday regretted that the anti-corruption crusaders have used very objectionable words about the elected representatives but noted he would not return the favours and take this discourse to a new low.

“I know Team Anna has from time to time used very objectionable words about elected representatives and politicians. I am not going to return the favours by using similar words against them,” Omar told reporters here.

“I think we need to raise the level of this discourse to the level Anna had raised and not to the level that some of his supporters has brought it down to. I think from time to time they have put the government and elected representatives in a slightly difficult position, but this is democracy where you have right to free speech.”

Omar noted that corruption cannot end just because there is a one Lokpal bill.

“We have state accountability commission in J&K it did not end corruption. Therefore anybody expecting corruption will end because Lokpal bill has been passed by parliament, it won’t happen. If all those people who are today supporting Anna also pledge not to pay bribe or take bribe, it would be an important step,” he said

Chief minister appealed Anna to break his fast and give parliament a chance to arrive at a conclusion.

“We have appealed in the past and I will appeal again to Anna to break his fast. I certainly believe he has achieved far more than anybody else has achieved in the realm of anti-corruption. We certainly would not have seen this sort of progress on a Lokpal if Anna had not undertaken fast. Bu then there comes a time for us to pull back and prepare for a next battle,” he said.

Omar said parliament represents more than 100 crore people and it should be left to its wisdom to debate and decide what best version of the Lokpal bill can be introduced and practically implemented.

“I hope there will be unanimity cutting across party lines. I hope Team Anna will help him to break his fast so that we can go ahead with the process of legislating the Lokpal bill,” he said.

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