With Anna Hazare's civil society movement - which at its height had rejected politicians of all shades - turning into a scorching political onslaught against the Congress in the Hisar Lok Sabha by-poll, the ruling party is trying to take a balanced approach to tackle Team Anna on the political
A cautious Congress will refrain from attacking Hazare directly after it boomeranged recently but fire its salvos against the civil society’s political campaign.
A day after Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh raised questions about Hazare's links with RSS, another general secretary B K Hariprasad told HT, “We will expose the campaign. Anna Hazare and his team wanted to fight corruption. In Hisar they are supporting corrupt people like Om Prakash Chautala and Kuldip Bishnoi.”
Hariprasad also said, “Arvind Kejriwal belongs to Hisar. If Team Hazare is keen to have referendums, why didn't it field Kejriwal as a candidate and test the waters? We will ask why Hazare didn’t try to make Kejriwal the opposition candidate against the Congress.”
A section of the party though prefers to keep Hazare engaged in dialogue. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress president Manikrao Thakre met Hazare at the latter’s village even as Hazare appealed to Hisar voters not to vote for the Congress in the ensuing Lok Sabha by-poll.
Congress poll managers however, are trying not to be perturbed at the Anna effect. “This was never our safe seat. Even without Hazare's campaign, we had little chance of winning,” a Congress poll manager said.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal, campaigning in Hisar's Narnaund, said on Saturday, “We are not going to tolerate dadagiri (bullying) of the Congress and shall continue our non-violent agitation. We are here to appeal you to cast your vote against Congress and choose a better, honest and clean person among the contestants.”