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Lalu slams Anna over remarks against alcoholics

New Delhi, Wed, 23 Nov 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Nov. 23 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Wednesday slammed veteran social activist Anna Hazare over his controversial remarks that alcoholics should be whipped and shamed in public.


Yadav said he did not expect such violent views from a 'Gandhian' like Hazare.


He further that the media should refrain from providing such individuals a platform to air their views.


"I saw Annaji's statement on television last night. A ban on alcohol or drinking alcohol is not a good thing but all those who have spoken against prohibition till today, have always failed. For a 'Gandhian' like Anna to say that alcoholics should be beaten up or whipped is inappropriate," said Yadav.


74-year-old Hazare had called for public humiliation of those who drink alcohol.


Expressing his disappointment over the adjournment of Parliament, Yadav said that rather than discussing protests, pertinent issues such as inflation and the depreciating value of the Indian rupee needed to be addressed.


"Till date, we have launched many protests but there is also an increase in inflation. The value of money in comparison to the dollar is depreciating. Inflation will increase further. So there need to be discussions, debates and suggestions to find solutions for these problems so that people do not face any hardships," he added.


Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till Thursday, as the opposition refused to back down on a number of issues including inflation and the 2G spectrum scam.


The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier on Tuesday implemented a boycott movement against Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and forced the adjournment of the House.


Chidambaram has been at the centre of an extensive political storm ever since certain reports revealed of his alleged role in "deciding" the prices of 2G-spectrum during his earlier tenure as the Finance Minister, thus embroiling him in the telecom scam.


His name cropped up in a recent letter of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which Mukherjee blamed his predecessor for not sticking to the established procedures in auctioning of the 2-G spectrum.


The letter stated that sufficient steps were not taken by Chidambaram to prevent the colossal scam from occurring in the first place, considering he could have "stuck to the stand" of auctioning of the precious spectrum instead of giving it at throwaway prices.


The telecom scam, one of India's biggest graft cases ever, may have cost 39.57 billion dollars in revenue to the public exchequer as per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).


Former Telecom Minister A. Raja was sacked in November last year and later arrested after being charged with giving away telecom licences in 2008 for a pittance, at meagre prices of 2001 in the CAG report. Raja is presently facing trial along with a group of telecom executives and DMK lawmaker Kanimozhi. (ANI)


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