Anna Hazare in Ralegan Siddhi on Thursday. (Source: Express photo by Pavan Khengre)
Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday praised the BJP-led government at the Centre, saying it seemed like “achchhe din aane wale hain (good days are coming)”. Hazare, however, criticised AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for getting “carried away” and thinking “he could now become Prime Minister”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Hazare said, “The new government paints a promising picture for the future. Maybe it does seem like achchhe din aane wale hain.” He, however, added that his newly-constituted Asli Azaadi Abhiyaan would keep a close watch on PM Narendra Modi and his ministers for the next four-six months, and would launch a countrywide agitation if it felt that they were not delivering on their promises.
Praising Modi’s instructions to his ministers to refrain from including kin as personal staff and to consider the opinion of the people while framing policies, he said, “He seems to have a vision”. Hazare said the clear mandate means the government can do a lot for development of the country, unlike a khichdi government fraught with instability.
“The public was sick of corruption, and the fact that this is the first thing this government is tackling with the formation of the SIT (on black money) is a good sign. It probably never even crossed the mind of the earlier government to do something like this, perhaps because most of their own ministers were involved in so many scams — and they paid for this attitude,” he said. Incidentally, the government set up the SIT on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Hazare attributed Modi’s win to his charisma and oratory skills, as well as the failure of the Congress government.“People do not like dynastic governments anymore. This party of ma, beta and now beti was doomed,” he added.
Asked if he missed not going for the swearing-in ceremony, he said, “There was no invitation, so there was no question of going. But I sent my best wishes to Modi through the media.”
On Kejriwal, Hazare said, “I knew Kejriwal could not stand up to Modi in Varanasi when I saw the latter’s sway over the public. Kejriwal got carried away when he saw the people’s support that made him the Delhi CM. He thought he could now become PM too. I told him to make Delhi a model of development in the next five years and then replicate that in the country, but his thinking changed. Now he admits it was wrong and has said sorry, but what is the use? Also he had no right to make corruption allegations on anyone without proof, obviously the other person would slap defamation charges and the court would call for his arrest.”