Anna Hazare, the veteran Gandhian agitator who recently led a successful campaign to get a central corruption ombudsman, has turned his guns on India’s ‘most advanced’ state — Gujarat.
The mass leader, who had praised Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi when he was agitating for the ombudsman (Lokpal), said he was surprised to discover the levels of corruption in the state on his current visit there.
“The state gave the image of being India’s most progressive one from the outside. However, after reaching here, one sees scams after scams.. in the land of the Gandhi,” Hazare told his supporters in Ahmedabad.
To cure the ills, Hazare prescribed the same ‘tonic’ that he recently pushed down the throat of the central government — a corruption auditor or Lokayukt.
He urged Narendra Modi to follow the lead of other states and appoint a Lokayukt as soon as possible.
The move has come as a set back for both Modi as well as the BJP, which was riding on the coattails of his popularity. BJP and the Right in general was mildly supportive of Hazare’s anti-government agitation — the biggest popular movement since the Jaiprakash Narayan rallies of the 70s.
Hazare, who has in his camp several anti-Modi activists such as Swami Agnivesh, seemed to have proven those who accused him of being a BJP sympathiser wrong with his latest comments.
After initially supporting Hazare’s campaign for the establishment of a Lokpal, the BJP had later sent its leaders like Muktar Abbas Naqvi to punch holes in the concept.