In reply to Anna Hazare’s letter to Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party leader said she does not “support or encourage politics of smear campaign”. Sonia also reiterated that she believes “there is an urgent necessity to combat graft and corruption.”
Reassuring Hazare, Sonia wrote: “You should have no doubt of my commitment in the fight for probity in public life.”
The Global Indian magazine obtained a copy of Gandhi’s response to Hazare.
Full text of Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Anna Hazare
Dear Anna Hazare ji,
Thank you for your letter of April 18, 2011.
Let me reiterate what I wrote to you earlier, that I believe there is an urgent necessity to combat graft and corruption. You should have no doubt of my commitment in the fight for probity in public life. I strongly support the institution of a Lokpal that is consistent with the practices and conventions of our parliamentary democracy.
The Lokpal Bill was very much a part of the agenda of NAC. As you know the NAC working group on transparency, accountability and governance under the convenership of Ms Aruna Roy held consultations on this subject on April 4 with several representatives of civil society including Shri Shanti Bhushan, Shri Santosh Hegde and Shri Prashant Bhushan who are now on the joint committee, as well as Swami Agnivesh and Shri Arvind Kejriwal, who have been closely associated with you. The working group had decided to hold further consultations and evolve broad principles for discussion and approval in the next meeting of the NAC scheduled for April 28.
In fact in your letter of April 8, which my office received at around noon on that date, you yourself said:
“I wish to bring to your notice that the sub-committee of your NAC has agreed with the broad content of Jan Lokpal bill, barring two issues, after extensive discussions on April 4 with various knowledgeable sections of society.
“May I request you to kindly get the draft discussed at full meeting of NAC at the earliest and recommend the outcome to the government”
As I have just mentioned, this is the very course that the NAC was following until the process was, as you know, overtaken by subsequent events.
As for statements appearing in the media, let me assure you that I do not support nor encourage the politics of smear campaigns.
With good wishes,