New Delhi: Team Anna on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Congress ahead of the October 13 Lok Sabha bypoll here, asking voters to inflict a "historic" defeat on the party for not bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Addressing a gathering at Narnaund town of Hisar Lok Sabha constituency, Kejriwal sought support from the people of Hisar to vote against the Congress and others who indulged in corruption.
Kejriwal said Hazare twice sat on a fast for the Jan Lokpal Bill but the Congress-led UPA government was yet to bring it in Parliament.
"You will have to inflict a historic defeat on the Congress. If you defeat the party (in the bypoll), this will be Anna's victory," he told the gathering.
"The Congress party does not want to send corrupt people to jail. It does not want to take any action against them either. That is why they are opposed to the Jan Lokpal bill," he told a well-attended public gathering.
People in the gathering shouted slogans of support for Kejriwal and Team Anna as he listed various issues against corruption before them.
Kejriwal, who was accompanied by Hazare’s associate Manish Sisodia, said: “The Congress is afraid that if the Jan Lokpal bill comes, half of its ministers will go to jail (for corruption). That is why the Congress is trying to portray that the Jan Lokpal bill as against the country.”
Alleging that the Congress and corruption were synonymous, Kejriwal asked people to defeat the corrupt forces.
He said if the bill is not passed soon, team Anna would intensify its campaign against the Congress in poll-bound states.
Referring to RSS chief's remarks that Sangh volunteers took part in Hazare's movement, Kejriwal hit back saying those trying to seek credit should take credit for Gujarat riots and corruption that rocked the Karnataka Government under the BJP Chief Minister.
Earlier in Rohtak town, Kejriwal told reporters that Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption was his own and not associated with any party or organisation.
He said that the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) could not take credit for Anna’s anti-corruption campaign in recent months.
Armed with a recorded message of the social activist, members of Team Anna Saturday began their anti-corruption and anti-Congress campaign from here ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha bypoll.
The by-election to the Hisar seat, to be held Oct 13, was necessitated after former chief minister and sitting MP Bhajan Lal's death in June.
Hazare himself is not scheduled to come here for the campaign though his recorded message will be played for the people in the next 2-3 days, activists of the anti-corruption forum here said.
In his video message, Hazare has called upon voters not to vote for the Congress as the party was opposed to bringing about an effective Lokpal bill.
Former police officer Kiran Bedi and lawyer Prashant Bhushan are likely to visit here in the next couple of days.
The ruling Congress in Haryana said it was not perturbed by Team Anna Hazare's campaign for the Hisar Lok Sabha bypoll.
"We are not perturbed by the campaign launched by Anna Hazare. RSS chief's admission that Sangh volunteers took part in recent movements against corruption has exposed his (Hazare's) lie and claims that he is non-partisan," Haryana Congress President Phool Chand Mullana said.
The contest for this seat is tough for the three main players -- Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) who is son of the late Bhajan Lal, Indian National Lok Dal's (INLD) Ajay Chautala who is son of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, and three-time former MP Jai Prakash of the Congress.
Stakes are high for all three parties and their candidates. Hisar was the only seat the Congress could not win out of the state's 10 Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 general elections.
With PTI & IANS inputs
First Published: Saturday, October 08, 2011, 19:15