NEW DELHI: Anti-corruption crusader and veteran social activist Anna Hazare may well be sulking as his one-time protégés, including Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, have ‘outgrown’ him. But the septuagenarian Gandhian is bracing for another round of agitation in the national capital and has become the rallying point for a number of socio-political organisations cutting across ideologies.
Hazare will be landing at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi on February 24 to participate in a farmers’ agitation being organised by the Ekta Parishad in protest against the Land Acquisition Ordinance. Prior to this, he will flag off a rally at Palwal in Haryana on Friday.
“Annaji has vowed his support to our stir and he will be with us throughout the agitation which will be led by our founder and patron P V Rajagopal, Aneesh Thillenkery, national convener of Ekta Parishad, told Express.
Kejriwal had extended an invite to Hazare for the swearing-in ceremony at the historic Ramlila Maidan -- the venue of the latter’s anti-graft campaign over three years ago. He, however, did not attend the ceremony. He had skipped Kejriwal’s previous swearing-in in 2013 also. Even on the day of poll victory, Hazare had reminded Kejriwal that he had been his volunteer in the past. “I am proud that one of our volunteers has formed the government in Delhi,” he said the day when election results were declared.
According to a social activist, who is a common friend of both Hazare and Kejriwal, the former is still not on talking terms with both Kejriwal and Bedi as he feels that the duo had “used him” for their own political ends. The farmers’ agitation may bring all those old pals together.
“Through this agitation, Hazare could bring all those old-timers of the anti-corruption movement under one umbrella and it could eventually lead to another interesting political formation,” said another social activist.
While Govindacharya is a known Narendra Modi-baiter, Patkar was in the forefront of the anti-corruption movement during the tenure of UPA-II Government. Incidentally, Govindacharya too had played a crucial role in the anti-graft agitation and he had always maintained a good rapport with Hazare. The NDA Government had on December 29 recommended promulgation of an Ordinance making significant changes to the Land Acquisition Act, including removal of Consent Clause for acquiring land for five requirements -- industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.