New Delhi: Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has written a stinging response to Delhi BJP president Adesh Kumar Gupta, who had asked him to join a protest against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the city.
Hazare said he heard of Gupta’s letter on 24 August through the media, and it pained him because the BJP has been in power at the Centre for more than six years and was still calling him to launch an agitation similar to the one he spearheaded on the Jan Lokpal issue in 2011.
“The 2011 agitation took place as people were fed up with corruption and took to the streets, thinking that a person like Anna Hazare is agitating for us. After that, in 2014, your government came to power by showing the dream of corruption-free India. But people’s life has not improved,” Hazare wrote in a letter posted on his official Facebook page.
“Youth power is national power and you have a large number of youth in your party. What could be more unfortunate than this — that a party which claims to have the highest party membership in the world has to call an 83-year-old man like me who lives in a room of 10 by 12 feet in a mandir; who has no money, no wealth,” said Hazare.
“The CBI, Enforcement Directorate and police all are under the control of the central government. The Prime Minister always claims that the central government has taken drastic measures to eradicate corruption. If this is the case and if the Delhi government has committed corruption, why is not your government taking strict legal action against it? Or are all claims of elimination of corruption hollow?” he asked.
No party can provide relief until system changes
Hazare said in the present situation, he is of the view that no party will be able to provide a bright future or relief to the country until the system changes.
“Many parties are engaged in this cycle of money for power and power for money… No matter which party is in power, people will not get relief until the system changes, so I believe that coming back to Delhi will not make any difference,” he said.
“Change in the country will come not just from the change of party, but from the change of system.”
Hazare further said he had undertaken 20 hunger-strike agitations in over 22 years of his ‘war against corruption’. “For the betterment of society, state and nation, I have held separate agitations for 22 years on the path of non-violence. I have fasted 20 times. Six ministers have been removed from their posts during this movement. These ministers are from all parties. I have done my work without bothering about which party was being targeted,” he said.
Hazare also offered advice for political parties who only believe in targeting each other — they need to carry out self-introspection and speak up against their own flaws and shortcomings.