New Delhi: Almost three years after they split, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday shared stage with Anna Hazare extending his full support to the Gandhian's agitation against the land acquisition ordinance and said the law will make the Centre work like a "property dealer" for the corporates.
Signalling a rapprochement, Hazare welcomed his one-time protege at the stage of the protest venue as almost all AAP MLAs and senior leaders of the party joined the social activist in his agitation.
In his brief address, Kejriwal came down hard on the Centre for the controversial legislation and said BJP was punished in the Delhi assembly elections for their anti-poor policies though the same was given a massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
"If the amendment bill is passed, then this government will become a dalal, it will become property dealer for big companies. We vehemently oppose the bill. The current government should learn a lesson. People had whole-heartedly supported BJP in May and ensured their victory in the Lok Sabha polls. But after 8-9 months, due to their policies, people have uprooted BJP," the Delhi Chief Minister said.
Kejriwal and Hazare, the two most prominent faces of the Lokpal movement fell apart after Kejriwal decided to launch a political party in October 2012.
"In the country, if any government makes law against the poor, makes laws against the farmers, the public will not let it last. They will teach them a lesson. We support the country-wide agitation against the law under the leadership of Anna Hazare. We support and today as Chief Minister of Delhi, I want to announce that no one will be allowed to take land forcibly in the city," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal was among a host of leaders cutting across party lines who joined the agitation on a day the government introduced the land acquisition bill in Lok Sabha amid a walk out by the opposition.
Though Hazare had earlier ruled out sharing stage with any politician, political leaders including CPI's Atul Anjan and Vaiko of MDMK were among those sitting on the dais. Slamming the Modi government over the land ordinance, the Delhi Chief Minister said interests of the poor and farmers must be protected and assured the gathering that compensation as per market rates will be given to anyone for land in Delhi.
"If we want to develop this nation, then we have to take the public along. We cannot do by running bulldozer over them. Then the public will run the bulldozer over you," he said.
Calling Hazare his "guru" and someone like his father, Kejriwal said he supports the Gandhian's movement with "heart and soul".
"I want to tell Annaji that I always consider him my guru, someone like my father, and I want to say Annaji that we are with you and support this movement with our heart and soul."
"If the government wants to do development, if we want to open schools, build hospitals, if we want to build metro, if we want to give facilities, I've seen that public will willingly give their land," he said.
The Chief Minister called the compensation prescribed in the law as "betrayal".
"What they are claiming to be four times the rate is actually a betrayal. Just now someone told me that in Meerut, the circle rate is Rs 2,000, the market rate is Rs 20,000. These people say they will pay 4-times which will be Rs 8,000 while the market rate is Rs 20,000. This is betrayal, the entire law is betrayal," he said.
Earlier, Kejriwal waited for sometime near the stage at the protest venue as Hazare had said politicians will not be allowed to share the dais. But the Delhi Chief Minister was welcomed to the stage where he sat next to Hazare.
A number of AAP leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and almost all party MLAs, participated in the protest. The Delhi Chief Minister had called on Hazare at the Maharashtra Sadan last evening.
Hazare started his two-day protest yesterday. He had said a 'jail bharo' movement will be launched from the Ramlila Ground after holding "padyatra" across the country for three-four months against the land ordinance.