'BJP Anna ke saath hai'
Extending support to Anna Hazare's anti-graft crusade, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday claimed that it was his party that brought corruption and black money issues to the forefront and it will firmly stand with the Gandhian in his agitation.
"The BJP had not failed or been delayed in raising such topical issues. BJP protested the corruption in 2G spectrum and Commonwealth Games and did not allow ruling Congress-led UPA government to run both Houses of Parliament," said Gadkari.
The country and its citizens have woken up now and no government can crush their agitation, he said.
"BJP Anna ke saath hai' (BJP is with Anna)," Gadkari said.
Image: Nitin Gadkari
'Now is the time to fight corruption'
He said after the BJP spearheaded the fight against corruption and black money in Parliament, non-political and social organisations took it up and gave it momentum.
He added that Hazare and Baba Ramdev's agitation against corruption does not indicate that political parties including the BJP are incompetent or have failed to raise the issue effectively.
"The agitation or movement on public issues by political parties and non-political (social) organisations should not be compared. Now is the time to fight corruption jointly," Gadkari said.
Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
'We wish UPA good luck'
Such public agitations should not be restricted to political parties and the society should always come forward with their leaders, he said.
By now, said Gadkari, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government should have learnt a lesson on the unity of public and values of democracy.
"The public dissatisfaction and resentment against the UPA government is visible on the streets," he said.
It was most unfortunate that the Delhi and UPA governments tried to crush Hazare's proposed fast on August 16, he said.
Now the government has allowed the Gandhian to hold his protest at Ramlila Maidan for a fortnight. Reacting to this development, Gadkari said, "Lagta hai sarkar ka dimag thikane a gayi hai...hamari shubhichaye hai unke saath " (It seems good sense has finally prevailed on the government, we wish them good luck).
Image: A rally in support of Anna Hazare
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters