Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has criticised the BJP for “roping in leaders with tainted backgrounds”.
Claiming that there was no dearth of corrupt politicians, Hazare said, “These leaders, in a bid to hide their wrongdoings, always seek shelter with the ruling parties. Suresh Jain is a prime example of such a practice. To hide his multi-crore scandals, he switched from one party to another thrice and therefore there was a delay in the action against him,” Jain, a former minister and a Shiv Sena leader, was recently convicted in the multi-crore Gharkul housing scam.
Hazare told Loksatta that people should teach a lesson to parties which field candidates with tainted backgrounds, and young voters, whose numbers are rising, should take the initiative. “They should ensure that only honest candidates who will work in the interest of the general public are elected,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhaye reiterated that the BJP will not intervene in the legal processes underway against some leaders who have recently joined the party. “It is true that some of the leaders who joined us are facing legal proceedings. The BJP will not intervene in the legal process against them in any way,” he said.
Several leaders from the Congress and NCP have joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls.
National spokesperson and senior NCP leader, Nawab Malik, meanwhile, had said that those leaving the party were “entangled in some legal issues” and therefore, “desperately looking for the protective blanket” of the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena.
“They are facing a problem and are hoping that the BJP and Shiv Sena, who are ruling the state, will help them sort out their issues,” Malik said Monday.
Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had also claimed that the BJP was “misusing” its power to coerce leaders from the Congress and NCP to join the saffron parties. Citing the examples of NCP leader Hassan Mushrif and husband of party leader Chitra Wagh, Pawar said that while Mushrif had faced an IT raid, Wagh’s husband had faced an action by the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Wagh later joined the BJP.