Ralegan Siddhi (Ahmednagar): Anti-graft campaigner Anna Hazare, who had unsettled Delhi with his Jan Lokpal agitation, has now set his eyes on Uttar Pradesh and other poll-bound states, while saying he will ask people to not vote for the Congress if it fails to pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament`s next session.
Revealing the blueprint of the way forward in the fight against corruption, Anna said, “I will tour the entire country starting with the poll-bound states.”
On the issue of Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna said that he will renew his agitation if the Lokpal Bill is not passed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament, adding that he will ask people to not vote for the Congress in such an eventuality and as for the candidates from other parties, he will ask people to vote for ‘good’ people.
“Congress kept on saying ‘yes’, but they kept accusing us…they are not serious,” he said.
“I will start with Haryana where there is a by-poll scheduled in Hisar. The BJP and other parties have written to me supporting me but Congress has not yet written a letter supporting my movement ahead of the by-election scheduled on October 13,” he said.
Anna made it clear that his next big focus would be Uttar Pradesh which is scheduled to go to polls early next year.
“I will go to Uttar Pradesh and address multiple public gatherings and appeal to the people to not vote for the Congress if the Bill is not tabled in the Winter Session.”
“Three days before election commences in UP, I will start an agitation in Lucknow. If the Bill is passed in the Parliament then I will appeal people to vote for only good candidates with strong credentials irrespective of party affiliations,” he announced.
On whether he would himself identify ‘good’ candidates in a particular constituency, Anna said, “I will only appeal people to send right people to the temple of democracy…I don’t know who is good and who is bad, the local people know it better.”
Interestingly, Anna did not give any direct answer when asked if he would make a similar appeal against BSP legislators, as Mayawati`s party too has opposed the Jan Lokpal Bill. Anna only said since Congress was in power at the Centre, only it could bring the Lokpal Bill.
Anna added that after Mission UP, he would head to other poll-bound states - Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, Gujarat.
Sources told Zee News that Anna, as part of his program in UP, would visit universities in the state and interact with the students there and goad them to fight against corruption at all levels, especially in choosing the elected representatives.
Don’t compare me with Mahatma
Deprecating any comparisons with Mahatma Gandhi, Anna Hazare has rejected a resolution passed by the Gram Sabha of his native Ralegan Siddhi village conferring on him the title `Mahatma`.
"I am a simple Indian trying to follow the path of greats like Gandhiji, Mahatma Phule and Dr BR Ambedkar. People should try to follow the ethics and values of these `Mahatmas` in their lives to elevate themselves," the Gandhian said.
The Gram Sabha had passed a resolution on Gandhi Jayanti yesterday conferring on its famous son the title of `Mahatma` in recognition of his contributions to the nation.
The septuagenarian asked the villagers not to call him `Mahatma` as he was against such "deification" for carrying out his duties as a common citizen.