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From Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare's war cry against the Congress

Last updated on: October 4, 2011 17:41 IST

'We will have to defeat the Congress'

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Prasanna D Zore in Ralegan Siddhi

Activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday warned that he will soon begin a nationwide tour to canvass support against the Congress party's candidates in the five states bound for assembly elections next year if it fails to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed in the winter session of Parliament, reports Prasanna D Zore from Ralegan Siddhi.

The message from Ralegan Siddhi to voters across the country is loud and clear: If the party fails to get activist Anna Hazare's version of the Jan Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament during the winter session, rout the Congress party in the Uttar Pradesh elections next year.

Addressing media personnel at his hometown Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare made no bones about his intention to appeal to voters in the five states (without naming the states) going to polls next year to wipe out the Congress if it fails to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill during the winter session.

"We will have to defeat the Congress if they don't do it during the winter session. Because then it will be amply evident that the party has no interest in making India corruption free," Hazare said.

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Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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'Do not vote for Congress'

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For the time being, Hazare and his aide Arvind Kejriwal will focus their attention on the Hisar by-poll, scheduled for October 13, where the Haryana Jantantrik Party's Kuldeep Singh, supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party, is contesting against the Congress candidate.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Hazare openly declared war against the Congress and its candidates.

"Do not vote for Congress during the Hisar by-poll as we are yet to receive a letter of support from the party supporting the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament," Hazare said.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari has already submitted a one-page letter to Hazare to declare his party's complete support to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

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Image: Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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'Let the people decide who they want to vote for'

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"We would want a letter from Congress President Sonia Gandhi," said Kejriwal while replying to a query by rediff.com.

Hazare even set a deadline for the receipt of this letter -- the festival of Dussehra which falls on October 6 this year.

"The Congress party still has two more days," he said.

The anti-corruption crusader said that three days before the elections in Uttar Pradesh, he will stage a fast for four days and appeal to the people of the state to vote against the Congress and vote only for candidates with a clean image.

When rediff.com asked him if this move will help the two main contenders in UP, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, who also oppose the Jan Lokpal Bill, Hazare said, "Let the people decide who they want to vote for in the state".

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Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi

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'This looks like an act of revenge'

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The Gandhian activist, when asked if his open appeal against Congress candidates would tantamount to indirect support to the BJP, said those who allege that he has links with the BJP or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh should be sent to a mental asylum.

Taking on the Gujarat chief minister for getting IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt arrested without waiting for the Supreme Court's decision in response to his affidavit, Hazare said, "Jo Narendra Modi ne kiya hai, woh bilkul galat hai, undemocratic hai, (What Narendra Modi did (Sanjiv Bhatt's arrest) was wrong and undemocratic)".

"This looks like an act of revenge to me," he said.

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Image: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

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'Majority are for the Jan Lokpal'

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But Hazare evaded a query on whether he will campaign against the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, where elections are due next year, for this "undemocratic action".

Taking on the Congress, which remained the recurrent target of his attack today, the activist reminded supporters of the Jan Lokpal Bill that the party had been involved in subterfuge against him and his team members right from the day they sat together to jointly draft the bill till the day of his arrest on August 16.

Team Anna now wants to expand the Hisar experiment to all the states heading to polls next year.

"Our referendum shows that the majority (84 per cent of voters in the referendum) of Hisar's voters are for the Jan Lokpal," Kejriwal said in response to a question.

"We will appeal to Hisar's voters not to vote for liars," he said.


Image: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi

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'Manmohan Singh is heading the government like a puppet'

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In a statement contradicting his own staunch opposition to corruption, Hazare said that if the Congress party fails to pass the bill during the winter session, he would appeal to all the voters to rout the party's candidates during the polls, even if they have a clean image.

"After all, these elected Congress candidates with a clean image will follow only the party high command's whip and not listen to their conscience," he said in a veiled attack on Sonia Gandhi, holding her responsible for the party's failure to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.

"Manmohan Singh, too, has a clean image without doubt. But isn't he heading the government like a puppet," he said while replying to a query.

Hazare, however, said that he and his team would ask voters to elect only candidates with clean images and leave it to their judgment to elect candidates of their choice.


Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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