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Anna may withdraw statement on Modi: Agnivesh

Last updated on: April 18, 2011 11:16 IST

Anna may withdraw statement on Modi: Agnivesh



Social activist Swami Agnivesh has said that Anna Hazare may withdraw his statement praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, once information collected from the state is submitted to him.

"On Hazare's statement (about Modi) -- me and other activists feel that he did not have a clear view about Gujarat and his information was based on media reports," Agnivesh told reporters.

He further said he had come to collect information in Gujarat and to convince all the activists of the country that Hazare's statement was not because of some inclination, but was based on information the Gandhian had.

"Hazare had told reporters that if he gets full information, he would accept it as truth and based on that he could even withdraw his statement praising Modi," Agnivesh said.

"Today, I have collected information which I will share with Anna. And I am of the opinion that Anna would withdraw his statement praising Modi," he said.

Image: Yoga guru Swami Ramdev and social activist Swami Agnivesh with Anna Hazare
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

'Gujarat CM has to pass this test'

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"It is a possibility that if he may not be satisfied with information that I have collected. Then I would urge him to come to Gujarat, talk to people and social workers here and get more information," he added.

Agnivesh also asked Modi to keep his promise of appointing a new Lokayukta for Gujarat and getting the new Lokayukta bill passed by the state assembly.

"The Gujarat CM had stated that because of opposition from others, he had not been able to appoint a Lokayukta since last 6-7 years," Agnivesh said.

"Now he has to pass this test. A good draft of the Lokayukta has been given to Modi which has been prepared by Arvind Kejriwal, Santosh Hegde and Prashant Bhushan," he added.

Image: Narendra Modi holds a sword before filing his nomination papers for the 2007 assembly elections in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
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'A sinister design to discredit civil society members'

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"Despite this if Modi does not announce a good Lokayukta then his chest-beating claim of trying to make Gujarat a corruption-free state would fall flat," he said.

Agnivesh also suggested the name of retired Justice R M Mehta of the Gujarat high court as the Lokayukta in the state.

"Modi has thanked Hazare for praising him and his state. If he (Modi) is really happy he should have the honesty to appoint a good judge as the Lokayukta and get the new Lokayukta Bill passed by the state assembly," Agnivesh said.

With regard to the controversy over a CD allegedly involving joint drafting panel co-chairman Shanti Bhushan, Agnivesh said, "This is a sinister design to discredit and malign some of the civil society members on the joint drafting committee. It is an attempt to take away focus from the movement where the nation has been united in a fight against corruption."

Image: Anna Hazare during his indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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