New Delhi: A day after Anna Hazare said he would not contest elections because voters easily get influenced by money and liquor, two major political parties – the Congress and the BJP – have reacted to the social activist’s remarks.
Hazare had yesterday said, “I feel I should contest elections, but if I do so, I will lose my deposit... I will not do so.” He added: “Voters are not alert. An informed voter is the crux of democracy. In villages, even today if a Rs 500 note is waved in front of people they will vote for you, and a drunkard will vote for you if he is promised alcohol.”
To this the Congress party said Hazare was only contradicting himself.
"This is a contradictory statement. At one place it's told that around 125 crore people are with us, and then making such comments. I have been saying this from the very beginning that this is a wrong way to fight against corruption. There is a need to improve the society. We all, right from the bottom to the top, need to fight against corruption," said party spokesperson Rashid Alvi.
"I am not saying that politics should not be freed from corruption. But we have to fight this battle right from the bottom then only the society will be free from corruption. We respect every voter and it is not right to put blame like this on any voter," he added.
The BJP meanwhile reacted by saying that the remarks were Hazare’s personal opinion, and emphasized that it believes people of the country vote with full honesty and integrity.
"This might be his personal opinion. The Bharatiya Janata Party responsibly believes that people of India vote with full honesty and whenever they want to they have the capability to overthrow big governments from power," said party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.
"People vote with full integrity. Few persons might be falling for money and alcohol, but vast majorities of people vote with full honesty even today. And the BJP salutes the voters of the country," he added.
When asked to comment on some of the members of Team Anna willing to fight the election battle, Congress’ Alvi said: "As per the Constitution, every individual has the right to contest elections. And if Annaji himself or any of this team members want to contest the elections then the Constitution gives them this right."
(With ANI inputs)
First Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 14:12