Anna Hazare backs Mamata for PM, says Arvind Kejriwal path different

Speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, Hazare also said his one-time lieutenant Arvind Kejriwal had not lived up to his expectations as the Delhi Chief Minister.

New Delhi | Updated: February 9, 2014 8:15 am
Anna Hazare clarified that he has chosen an individual path for himself and that he will not support anyone aligning with any party. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia) Anna Hazare clarified that he has chosen an individual path for himself and that he will not support anyone aligning with any party. (IE Photo: Ravi Kanojia)

Social activist Anna Hazare said on Saturday that he would not be averse to supporting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the post of Prime Minister if she was ready to state in an affidavit her commitment to his 17-point economic agenda. He claimed that if he backed Mamata, she would get 40 seats in the Lok Sabha, and would be in a position to decide who becomes the Prime Minister.

Speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange, Hazare also said his one-time lieutenant Arvind Kejriwal had not lived up to his expectations as the Delhi Chief Minister.

He said while both Kejriwal and Mamata were strong, the latter had retained her simplicity. “It is the thought that matters. I have always said, since Arvind was with me, that he believes in sacrifice and has a good character. But he is in a party now. Somewhere our paths are different. He has strength, and so does Mamata. She’s a Chief Minister, but she still lives in her father’s small house. She did not take a government bungalow or car. She wears hawai chappals and a simple sari, and travels 8-10 kilometres inside villages. These kind of people can make a difference to the country,” he said.

Pushing for a political set-up where people field suitable candidates instead of going with political parties, Hazare said he would embark on an all-India tour in March and form an anti-corruption plank with good, Independent candidates. “I roam without any funding or getting any grant from anywhere. Main jahan jaata hoon, wahan ek jhola ja ke rakh deta hoon,” he said.

Hazare said Kejriwal had contacted him to unveil the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill but he had not made a commitment yet. “I do not know what the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill has, I have not seen it. Yesterday, Arvind called saying he wants me to unveil the Bill. I said I don’t know where I will be on February 16, and I don’t know what is in the Bill. Once I see it, I will decide,” he said.

In his Burari meeting on Friday, Kejriwal had described the Jan Lokpal Bill as “Anna Hazare’s Lokpal”. “I have nothing to say about them using my name if it is for the good of society,” said Hazare.

Asked about Kejriwal’s agitation outside Rail Bhawan last month, Hazare said while there is nothing wrong with protests, there is a need to see whether the constitution permits it.

On the other hand, Hazare praised the West Bengal Chief Minister. The Trinamool Congress was the only party that responded to his letter outlining his 17-point charter last May.

“I have asked her to give her commitment in the form of an affidavit… I will definitely try to support such people. Why shouldn’t I when I am out to change the country… People have to put up candidates, not any political party. If people put up candidates with good image in society, even if they are Independent, I will support them,” he said.

Hazare’s 17-point charter includes passing of Lokpal, Citizens Charters and Whistleblowers Bill, recognising gram sabhas as the basic administrative unit, power station in every village, declaring black money in foreign banks as national asset, a new tax policy and containing inflation.

He said if Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi were really serious about the country, they should have replied to his 17-point charter.
Earlier, addressing a seminar at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, Hazare said there was “no need for political parties to exist at all and they were the reason for corruption within the House.” He said “if just individuals were to be elected in the House, they would not be corrupt.”

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  1. A
    Atul
    Feb 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm
    Though Annaji is an honest and respected man,his influence is not beyond his village. And there also he resorted to undemocratic methods to stop people from drinking and boycotting those selling liquor.
    Reply
  2. A
    Ajay mittal
    Feb 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm
    His credibility is already very down. By attacking AK, he attacks the Delhi people. He does not understand 'change' otherwise he would not show his lack of understanding of the importance of a political party. He comes across as a fool. AK is playing an extremely crucial role for the nation at this time. Anna instead of playing a positive role is doing just the opposite and in doing that, he is not helping the nation. Does he even understand that being simple is not enough. Does he even understand that Mamta has performed poorly on many fronts ! No wonder Ak had to chart a different path because Anna's ignorance and Kiran Bedi's self interests and BJP bias were coming in the way. Unlike Kiran Bedi who sought to bide her time till BJP gives her a position and its victory at the polls confirmed, AK took the risks. He could have failed as well and if that had happened, he would have lost both political and civil careers. Delhites want a CM who has the qualities of AK, nothing less.
    Reply
  3. A
    Ajay mittal
    Feb 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm
    His credibility is already very down. By attacking AK, he attacks the Delhi people. He does not understand 'change' otherwise he would not show his lack of understanding of the importance of a political party. He comes across as a fool. AK is playing an extremely crucial role for the nation at this time. Anna instead of playing a positive role is doing just the opposite and in doing that, he is not helping the nation. Does he even understand that being simple is not enough. Does he even understand that Mamta has performed poorly on many fronts ! No wonder Ak had to chart a different path because Anna's ignorance and Kiran Bedi's self interests and BJP bias were coming in the way. Unlike Kiran Bedi who sought to bide her time till BJP gives her a position and its victory at the polls confirmed, AK took the risks. He could have failed as well and if that had happened, he would have lost both political and civil careers. Delhites want a CM who has the qualities of AK, nothing less.
    Reply
  4. A
    Archana Das
    Feb 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm
    So mamata is not from party .? Ask people of Bengal
    Reply
  5. A
    Archana Das
    Feb 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm
    So mamata is not from party .? Ask people of Bengal
    Reply
  6. B
    BigB
    Feb 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm
    They wouldn't be corrupt, but there will not be a stable Govt also. Corruption is not the only problem. Unstable Govt can cost the country lot more, like V P Singh's Govt.
    Reply
  7. K
    Krishna Padmanabhan
    Feb 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    There goes the man again! He will protest against Kejriwal, but will campaign for Mamta Banerjee. Clouded thinking and monkey tricks by this pretend- hi.
    Reply
  8. K
    Krishna Padmanabhan
    Feb 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    There goes the man again! He will protest against Kejriwal, but will campaign for Mamta Banerjee. Clouded thinking and monkey tricks by this pretend- hi.
    Reply
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