A day after Team Anna launched its campaign against the Congress in Hisar Lok Sabha by-poll, the Congress alleged that social activist Anna Hazare, who galvanized nation against corruption this year, would be BJP-led opposition parties’ joint presidential candidate in 2012 elections. BJP president Nitin Gadkari had assured social activist Anna Hazare of supporting his Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament and team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday appealed to vote against Congress in Hisar on behalf of the Gandhian.
"I have heard that the BJP has told Anna Hazare that he could be all party candidate for 2012 presidential election," Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said at a public function in Agra, about 300 kms south of Delhi.
Seeking a clarification from Hazare on his claim, the Congress leader, who once described Hazare as simple and good meaning person accused him of being a "mask" for anti-Congress parties. "Hazare is appealing to voters to defeat Congress knowing full the credentials of candidates of other parties," he said.
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal hit back at Singh saying they were doing politics by raising citizen's voice and not for promoting Congress style corruption.
Singh’s no holds-barred campaign against Hazare for only targeting Congress and not other corruption in BSP and Samajwadi Party came after the government declared its intention to release all nine audio tapes of the Lokpal Bill’s joint drafting committee having four team Anna members including Hazare and Kejriwal.
The committee had ended work in acrimony in June end with difference between the government and team Anna over three contentious issues --- including of PM, higher judiciary and all public servants under the proposed Lokpal Bill.
After initiating refusing to release the audio tapes of nine drafting committee meetings, the government decided to release them under transparency law, the Right To Information Act, in an apparent bid to clear air over team Anna’s allegations that HRD minister Kapil Sibal and Home Minister P Chidambaram blocked any agreement.
Kejriwal in a television interview went to the extent of saying that Hazare was above Parliament and has a right to question it like any other citizen.
"Of course, he is putting himself above (Parliament). Every citizen is above Parliament. Let me caution you, every citizen is above Parliament. The citizen has every right to tell the Parliament has not done the job," Kejriwal said in a television interview.
He was justifying Hazare’s fast to get the Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament.
Kejriwal also justified the decision to campaign against Congress in Hisar polls saying it was the ruling party's duty to ensure the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill but warned of similar campaign against BJP in Uttar Pradesh if it failed to fulfill its promise to support Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.