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Anna Hazare on Friday clarified that his support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was just to her ideals and not to her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Hazare, while speaking to The Indian Express here, said that he will not go campaigning for the TMC’s individual candidates. He also said that he will be asking the TMC details about their candidates.
“I do not know anything about who they have fielded. I also do not know the background of the candidates, how can I support or go campaigning for them?” he said. The activist, who had earlier expressed his admiration for Banerjee’s simplicity had declared that he would be addressing public rallies for party candidates.
Clarifying his support, Hazare said he was supporting the Banerjee’s ideals and not her party. “My support will also be for the duration of the elections only,” he said. Next week Hazare is scheduled to address a public rally along with Banerjee in New Delhi, at the Ramlila Maidan.
Sources close to Hazare said he has agreed to go for ones or two public rallies in West Bengal during the campaign period. The TMC had earlier declared its list of candidates and had also announced that joint meetings would be held between Hazare and Banerjee.
In another development, Hazare Friday held meetings with water conservationist Rajendra Singh, environmentalist Vishambhar Chowdhury, Gandhian activist PV Rajagopal and others about fielding a pool of Independent candidates who are popular and have good credentials. Other than Independent candidate from Buldhana, Balasaheb Darade, no other names were decided on. Similar meetings are set to be held in New Delhi next week, where activists S N Subbarao, Radha Bhatt, Sandeep Pandey and E P Menon are expected to participate.