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Anna Hazare 'RTI Settler', claims Maharashtra minister

Atul Patankar

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Loosely translated from maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com on 6 Sep 2011


"The 'Self professed' social activist Anna Hazare, and his team, is corrupt to the core, and they misuse the RTI Act to blackmail people" claimed the Youth and sports Minister of Maharashtra, Padmakar Valvi at a program at Nandurbar.


He said "Just like in the Central government, we sanctioned a Right to Information Act in Maharashtra as per the demand of Anna Hazare. But the Act has brought no benefit to common man. Its sole beneficiary is Anna Hazare, who is involved in corrupt practices by misusing RTI and blackmailing officers. The irony is that, such a corrupt person is making claim of fighting against corruption"


Other leaders from the district, who attended the program, also made similar remarks against Anna Hazare. these included local MLA Chandrakant Raghuvanshi, manikrao Gavit, Swarupsingh Naik, etc.


His sstatements may increase the headache of Maharashtra PCC Chief Manikrao Thakare and CM Prithviraj Chauhan. The Central leadership is trying to create an image of a governemnt sensitive to Anna Hazares'd dmand. Now the state leadership may find itself in a position do defend or disown a minister in its cabinet on this issue.

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An additional interesting information. One of the speakers at rally was Surupsingh Naik. A few years back, this gentleman was a minister in Maharashtra State. At that time, he was sentenced to one month jail term in a Contempt of Court matter.


As usual, he developed chaste pains when he reached jail. Was immediately shifted to JJ hospital. Mr. Shailesh Gandhi asked for his 'case paper and medical record' under RTI. The application was denied as the information was personal. Ultimately, the matter reached High Court which accepted the plea that larger public interest required that the doubt about genuinity of Minister's health be cleared. Hence, the info was provided.


But as soon as the application was made, it had a miraculous effect on Mr. Naiks health. He recovered immediately, and spend last 10-12 days of his jail term in jail proper.


And yesterday he was telling a large gathering that RTI act is a tool for blackmail. Quite understandable, isn't it?

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