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Hazare defends 'only one slap' comment about Pawar

Last updated on: November 24, 2011 17:47 IST

Hazare defends 'only one slap' comment about Pawar

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Anna Hazare on Thursday tied himself in knots with his reaction to the attack on Sharad Pawar, initially appearing to respond with contempt and later condemning it.

"He got slapped! Only one slap," he said to a group of journalists who broke out in laughter at his reaction.

But he later condemned the incident, saying such acts of violence were not good.

"He (the attacker) may be very angry. This is not good. Anger is not good. Our Constitution does not tell us to be violent with anyone," Hazare told reporters in Ralegan Siddhi.


Image: Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi

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Hazare defends 'only one slap' comment about Pawar

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As word about his remarks created ripples, Hazare said he was talking to 200-300 visitors when someone sent a note to him about Pawar being attacked.

"I was asking them, was he only slapped or did something else happen to him," he said.

Hazare then told the media that it was not a slap on the face of Pawar but a slap on democracy. "There is no place for violence in democracy," he said.

But Hazare added that the government has to think about how to keep the anger of the masses under check.

"People are angry. There is corruption and price rise....there is the issue of Jan Lokpal....people are angry over so many things," he said.


Image: NCP leader Sharad Pawar was slapped by a protestor

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Hazare defends 'only one slap' comment about Pawar

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When pointed out that BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had warned of violence if price rise went unchecked, Hazare said, "there should not be violence in a democracy."

Condemning the attack, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said politicians may get targeted if a "proper" Lokpal Bill is not passed.

"Pray that a proper Lokpal Bill gets passed in winter session, or else the pent up anger may come out on the streets. Politicians may get targeted," Bedi tweeted.

"While condemning assault on public functionaries, (one) needs to analyse why this is happening and what must done to contain this. Assault on public functionaries calls for serious reflection at all levels of society including media forums," Bedi said.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was slapped by a youth at a public function, who claimed he was angry with corruption and price rise.

Pawar, who went to a literary function at a public auditorium on Parliament Street, was slapped by Harvinder Singh, a transporter in his thirties who had assaulted former telecom minister Sukhram outside the court on Saturday after he was sentenced in a corruption case.


Image: Kiran Bedi

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