BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: After admiring the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his development work in the state, Anna has now criticised the Modi government over liquor sales and corruption – Is Anna under pressure from Modi baiters like Swami Agnivesh to turn from admirer to critic?
Anna Hazare had called Narendra Modi an exemplary chief minister. Now, Social activist Anna Hazare has done a U-turn.
“State chief ministers must learn from the works done by the chief ministers of Gujarat and Bihar,” Hazare had said a month back.
In a dramatic U-turn, on Thursday Hazare said that corruption is rampant in Gujarat and that liquor flows more freely than milk in Gandhi’s Gujarat.
“After hearing so many of you all I see (are) scams, that too in the land of Mahatma Gandhi,” Hazare said at the end of a public hearing.
“Liquor flows more freely than milk in Gujarat. Is this Gandhi’s Gujarat?” said Hazare.
Earlier, Hazare had praised Modi for his governance. He had said that all chief ministers should emulate Modi. Those remarks had earned him criticism from several rights activists who had supported him in his anti-corruption drive.
From being an admirer to a critic, Anna Hazare has done a full U-turn on his opinions about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. His praise for Modi had isolated him within his supporters. His criticism on Thursday has made him a hero again.
Interestingly, Hazare’s criticism has come in Modi’s land. His praise though was outside. Narendra Modi himself had written an open letter to Hazare when he had praised him. He had cautioned him saying that anyone praising the Hindutva hero was bound to be targeted.
So was Hazare forced to sing a different tune on Modi? After all, the biggest crusader against corruption also needs support from those who claim to be champions of secularism.
Hazare also appealed to the Gujarat chief minister to enact a law empowering gram sabhas in taking decisions regarding village land.
Hazare, accompanied by Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal, made the appeal during a public hearing by various civil society groups, held at Gujarat Vidyapeeth.
He also urged Modi for quick appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat.
The anti-corruption crusader said the gram sabhas (village councils), which are the roots of society, are needed to be strengthened in Gujarat on grounds of Maharashtra adding that they only build the legislature.
“I would like to make two appeals to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. First is to appoint the Lokayukta in the state, and second to bring in a legislation that would empower the gram sabhas in taking decisions related to the village, especially those dealing with the village land,” Hazare said.
He said that after the drive to weed out corruption, his next assignment would be against land acquisition and he wanted it to start from Gujarat.
“Gram Sabhas should be so empowered that no transaction related to the village land could be done without their permission. And I think this movement should start from Gujarat,” he added.
Hazare said that the country may face threat from Pakistan, but it faces more grievous threat from enemies within the country.
He also warned the Union government of repeating Delhi agitation of April 5 if it tries to delay Jan Lokpal Bill.
Another member of the Jan Lok Pal Bill drafting team, Swami Agnivesh, said that the public hearing has exposed the false claims of Gujarat government over development.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is making use of American media agencies to paint a false picture of what was exactly happening in Gujarat, he said.
“Gujarat is not vibrant as shown by Modi. Gujarat is the land of scams. Gandhi’s Gujarat is now ‘Ghotale ka Gujarat’ (state of scams),” Agnivesh said.
(With additional information from PTI)