Anti-graft activist Anna Hazare on Thursday praised Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as a "ray of hope" and said he will meet her in Delhi and campaign for TMC candidates all over the country .
"We see a ray of hope in her. If people start backing such leaders then it will not take much time for the country to change," Hazare said.
He noted that Banerjee wore slippers, a simple sari, and did not take salary as chief minister.
"Mukul Roy has come with a message from Mamata. I will go to meet her in Delhi. There we will discuss in detail on what path we will take," Hazare told reporters after meeting the TMC general secretary Mukul Roy at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district.
The Gandhian activist said he had proposed a 17-point agenda for political parties in implementing a list of programmes in Parliament after the Lok Sabha polls if voted to power, which only Mamata had accepted.
Roy said that Hazare would campaign for the TMC and would have a meeting with the party chief in Delhi on February 18.
He said his party was proud of getting Hazare's support in a departure from his known stand of not canvassing for any political party in the elections.
"We feel proud that such a senior mass leader has hailed the leadership of Mamata Banerjee who has replied to his 17-point economic programme which is being incorporated in the party election manifesto," he added.
Roy quoted Hazare as saying that Mamata was an honest leader committed to rooting out corruption.
The Congress, however, scoffed at any understanding between Banerjee and Anna.
"It will be a big joke if Anna Hazare joins hands with Mamata. Earlier Anna used to say he will not join politics, but, after watching Arvind Kejriwal, he too now seems to be growing a desire.
"Nobody has been able to walk along with Mamata so we will wait and watch how Anna manages to do so," the party's newly appointed state chief Adhir Chowdhury said, addressing a rally here.
He said Banerjee was now thinking of becoming the prime minister.
"She will not hesitate in seeking help from anybody to further her ambition. Only those who do not believe in themselves seek the help of others," he added.