Anna Hazare losing relevance: Bal Thackeray
Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray Tuesday questioned the relevance of the anti-corruption crusade by veteran activist Anna Hazare and his team members.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said that for the first time since Hazare's "flop show" in Mumbai in December last year, Team Anna had again featured in the news.
"The Team's members like Prashant Bhushan faced public ire, Arvind Kejriwal was greeted with slippers, Kiran Bedi's corrupt activities tumbled out, Swami Agnivesh was out of the Team when the agitation was at a peak, India Against Corruption's Mumbai head is embroiled in questionable activities," Thackeray said in the edit.
Referring to the media, he said that the media which used to grab every word uttered by Hazare and his team, now barely take note of developments like the revival of the campaign from Jantar Mantar last Sunday.
The Sena chief said that it was expected Hazare would lead the anti-corruption brigade in the campaign during the recent elections in five states, "but he remained in and out of hospitals."
Though Hazare and Team Anna members campaigned informally in some parts, it was in Uttarakhand that they supported the Bharatiya Janata Party's then chief minister B.C. Khanduri.
However, the voters did not endorse his claims and the BJP government (an ally of the Shiv Sena, both in Maharashtra and in the NDA) headed by Khanduri was trounced in the elections.
Similarly, Thackeray pointed out that in Uttar Pradesh, where Mulayam Singh Yadav had exposed Team Anna's scams, the people wholeheartedly voted for his Samajwadi Party, which garnered a landslide victory last month.
"It was widely expected that Team Anna would take lessons from these, but that did not happen. Last Sunday, when Hazare revived his agitation, it elicited only lukewarm response in New Delhi's Jantar Mantar," Thackeray said.
He pointed out that the unbridled comments by some Team Anna members - (like calling Sharad Yadav a thief) - invited the ire of the entire Lok Sabha. Yet, Team Anna refused to improve itself, Thackeray lamented.
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