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Forget votes if no Lokpal Bill, Anna tells Congress

Last updated on: October 4, 2011 22:52 IST

Forget votes if no Lokpal Bill, Anna tells Congress

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi

After having shaken up the United Progressive Alliance government through his fast at the Ramlila Grounds, Anna Hazare has now decided to focus on the Congress party as his enemy number 1.

So much so that members of Team Anna have been campaigning in the Hisar by election in Haryana against the Congress party candidate and openly asking people to vote against the Congress.

Along with this, Anna Hazare has announced that if the Jan Lokpal bill is not passed in the winter session of Parliament he would go to the five state assemblies, which go the polls early next year and ask the people to vote against the Congress party. He said he would sit on fast in Lucknow just before the UP elections.

He goes on to add that he will not join politics or float any political party or be part of any political party, but from targeting all political parties he has now graduated to specifically attacking, targeting and focusing on the Congress party.

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Image: Anna Hazare speaking with reporters inside a temple in Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Forget votes if no Lokpal Bill, Anna tells Congress

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The Congress has sharply reacted against this saying he is being political in his approach and that even before the winter session of Parliament he has launched his campaign against the Congress.

Calling it hypocritical, a senior party leader has said that Hazare has a well defined agenda and is now working on that game plan.

The Congress privately says that the entire system, including the media, is being used to keep Hazare in the limelight, and to give him huge television space to keep him in public viewing.

But interestingly, the Congress is no longer worried or overly troubled with the Hazare phenomena.

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Image: Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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Forget votes if no Lokpal Bill, Anna tells Congress

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While the party's internal assessment is that he would become irrelevant over a period of time, in the context of the immediate future and the approaching assembly elections that are crucial for the Congress particularly UP, the thinking in the Congress is that the more Hazare speaks against them, the more he becomes identified with the Bharatiya Janata Party, and this will help the congress to polarise the elections and win votes.

The feedback which the party has received from UP is that the Muslims see Hazare as a mukhota (mask) of the BJP-RSS and that he has been supported and helped by them and this has been instrumental in pushing the muslims to back Congress. If this materialises, it could be a huge shot in the arms for the Congress, say party insiders.

The Congress is hopeful of exploiting all these issues as well as to, 'expose the hypocrisy of Team Anna' in the run up to the elections by proving that 'he is working on a well designed and well orchestrated campaign to target the Congress-led UPA government on corruption and thereby helping the BJP to come to power at the Centre'.


Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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