NEW DELHI: Social activist Anna Hazare on Friday snubbed Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Adesh Kumar Gupta, who urged him to join a ‘mass movement’ against ‘corruption' in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital.
Hazare, in his response to Gupta, said the change in the country would not happen merely with the replacement of the party but transformation of the system.
Hazare, who was at the forefront of ‘Jan Lok Pal’ movement in 2011, said that it was unfortunate that the BJP should ask him to join in its agitation when it has a huge cadre of its own and wields power in the Centre.
“I felt sorry after reading your letter. Your party (BJP) is in power for the last six years. Despite your party having youth in large numbers, which also claims to be the largest party in the world, you are calling an 83-year-old man--living in a 10X12 feet room of a temple-- a fakeer (pauper), to Delhi, who does not have money, wealth, and power. Nothing can be unfortunate more than this,” his letter in Hindi said.
The letter was also posted on Hazare’s verified Facebook page.
On Monday, Gupta had written to the anti-corruption crusader Hazare seeking his support.
Questioning the claims by the BJP-ruled Central government regarding corruption eradication, Hazare’s letter also said that multiple administrative subjects are with the Centre why it couldn’t take action against the Delhi government. “The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) always claims to have taken strong steps to end corruption. If it is true and the Delhi government is involved in corrupt practices, why doesn't your (BJP) government take stringent legal action? Or all claims by the Centre for corruption elimination are just sham?” said he.
Responding to Hazare’s letter, Gupta said, “The BJP is committed and capable to fight every battle against corruption. We request those who have been fighting against corruption to join this movement".
The embarrassment to BJP came close on the heels of the faux pas by its local unit on Shaheen Bagh. Recently around 50 residents of Shaheen Bagh were inducted into the party, who were projected as anti-CAA protesters.
The AAP used the opportunity to attack the saffron outfit stating that Shaheen Bagh protests were orchestrated by the BJP. The Friday’s development once again caused major embarrassment within the party. Several BJP leaders questioned the ‘political acumen’ of Gupta’s ‘political advisors’.
“First, it was Shaheen Bagh and now this letter to Hazare. One blunder is followed by another. Gupta is putting the central leadership on a spot,” said a senior BJP functionary.