Staging a hunger strike at his village Ralegan-Siddhi over non-appointment of Lokpal by the central government, social activist Anna Hazare on Monday said he was “used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)” to win Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
“The BJP used me in 2014. Everybody knows that it was my agitation for Lokpal that catapulted BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to power. Now I have lost all regards for them,” Hazare was quoted as saying by IANS.
Hazare believes the Narendra Modi-led central government “is only misleading the people of the country and leading the country to autocracy”. The BJP-led Maharashtra government was also lying to people for the past four years, he added. “For how long will the lies continue? This government has let down the people of the country. The state government’s claims that 90 per cent of my demands has been conceded are also false,” the 81-year old said.
Expressing his disappointment, Hazare said that the people who had benefitted from his agitations in 2011 and 2014 had turned their backs on his demands. Nothing has been done to implement them in the past five years, he alleged. “They keep saying that central and state government ministers will come and discuss the issues with me. What’s the use of coming here and meeting me when nothing is being done to appoint Lokpal? It only sends a wrong signal to people. I have asked them to clear their stance on Lokpal first,” said Hazare. He said that he was willing to continue his fast and was confident that he can fast for five more days.
To a question, Hazare said that his former associate Arvind Kejriwal – now the Delhi Chief Minister – was welcome to join his current agitation. “But I will not permit him to share the dais with me,” said Hazare on the sixth day of his indefinite hunger strike and a day after he threatened to return his Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian honour – if his demands were not fulfilled by the Centre.
Earlier in the day, MNS chief Raj Thackeray met Hazare and attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for ignoring the social activist. Thackeray said like Modi, Kejriwal too used Anna and now doesn’t bother to check how he’s doing. “People didn’t know how he (Kejriwal) looked before Anna agitation. Now he doesn’t bother to pay a visit and see how he’s doing. Both Kejriwal and Modi used Anna and dumped him.” said Thackeray. He asked Hazare to break the fast and instead, work to “bury the BJP government” in 2019. “BJP doesn’t care if he lives or dies. I told him not to risk his life for these useless people,” Thackeray added.
(With inputs from IANS)