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Rediff.com  » News » Do not pick a fight with me: Bal Thackeray warns Hazare

Do not pick a fight with me: Bal Thackeray warns Hazare

Last updated on: October 7, 2011 19:08 IST

'This childishness does not behove you'

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Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray was locked in a war of words on Friday with social activist Anna Hazare who was warned not to indulge in 'enmity' and pick up a fight after the Gandhian mocked Shiv Sena chief's old age. "You are younger to me. This childishness does not behove you," Thackeray, 85, said after the anti-corruption crusader riled the Sena supremo over his remarks at the Sena's annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai on Thursday.

During his speech, Thackeray had termed 74-year-old Hazare's anti-corruption movement a 'joke.' "Anna, corruption will not end in this country. Big fish are involved in this. Your net will get torn, but these fish will not be caught," he said.

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Image: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray
Photographs: Reuters
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'Hazare's fast in Delhi looked like a five-star event'

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Responding to the Sena chief's remarks, Hazare had mocked Thackeray's growing age. In a statement issued on Friday, Thackeray said, "we can give a befitting reply to what Anna has said, because we are not Gandhian. Because you mentioned my rising age, let me tell you that you are younger to me and this childishness does not behove you."

"Don't unnecessarily have enmity with us," Thackeray warned Hazare. Thackeray on Thursday took potshots at Hazare saying his 13-day fast in Delhi in September looked like a "five-star" event. "It was a five-star fast...Do not make a mockery of (issue of) corruption," he said.

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Image: Hazare waves to his supporters at Ramlila Maidan
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
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'We will do whatever we think is right'

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"Anna, you are trying honestly to fight corruption, but the corruption would not go away this way..." Thackeray had said. He referred to the huge arrangements at the fast venue, Ramlila Ground in Delhi, including the arrangement for "meals for 35,000 people". Reacting to the remarks, Hazare told reporters in Ralegan Siddhi that "whatever he (Thackeray) felt right, he said. We will do whatever we think is right". One should have the power to "bear insults", he added. The Sena had supported Hazare's anti-graft agitation earlier, and Thackeray's grandson, Aditya, had met the Gandhian during the fast.

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Image: Anna Hazare addresses the crowd at the Ramlila Maidan
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
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Anna dismisses RSS claim of being part of anti-corruption crusade

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The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's claim that it was part of the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare on Friday set off a new controversy with the Gandhian dismissing the claim and Congress leader Digvijay Singh saying his stand has been vindicated.

Debunking the RSS claim, Hazare told reporters, "nobody approached me. Not a single RSS worker met me or approached me. How are they saying this? I don't know." He was reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks at the RSS' annual Dussehra rally in Nagpur on Thursday that its volunteers "are already active in all movements against corruption without craving for their own position and credit".

Referring to Bhagwat's claim, Digvijay Singh said that he stood vindicated by RSS chief's statement that the volunteers of his organisation had taken part in the recent anti-corruption agitations. Singh said he had all along maintained that the RSS was part of Hazare's agitation for a strong Lokpal Bill and his stand has been vindicated now. He said on many occasions he had to face strong criticism for making such statements, but now he has been proved correct.

 


Image: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

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