Anna Hazare argues that Narendra Modi wants to benefit a few rich capitalists who are hand in glove with Modi and his BJP.
By Rakesh Raman
After an emotional split of a couple years, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has come back today to his mentor Anna Hazare, a firebrand social activist.
Kejriwal was supporting Hazare in his anti-corruption campaign of 2011. But Kejriwal – known for his greed for political power – decided to float his political outfit Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2012, on which Hazare has been expressing his displeasure. Hazare has always maintained that politics in India is a dirty game.
However, now Hazare has welcomed Kejriwal back in his Delhi agitation, which started Monday and is against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s ordinance on Land Acquisition Bill.
[ Read: 10 Reasons I Like Sir Arvind Kejriwal ]
Kejriwal’s support will strengthen Hazare’s protest, because earlier this month Kejriwal’s AAP crushed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi election by winning 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi Assembly.
Hazare has termed the Modi move as “anti-farmer” and an attack on Indian democracy, as, according to Hazare, government is trying to impose its will on farmers to acquire their land without their consent.
In December last year, the Modi-led BJP government had decided to make significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act, which will affect the farmers’ interest in the country.
With these changes, government will be able to grab farmers’ land without even asking them. The BJP government reasons that this land acquisition is required to begin new projects in areas such as industrial development, public-private partnership projects, rural infrastructure, housing, and defense.
Hazare, on the other hand, argues that Modi wants to benefit a few rich capitalists who are hand in glove with Modi and his BJP. The 77-year-old social activist also has said that in India, where over 70% population is dependent on agriculture, it will be disastrous if agricultural land is acquired and used for making buildings.
Hazare believes that BJP’s decision on land acquisition will further widen the already yawning gap between rich and the poor of India. That’s why he will not allow it to happen.
Moreover, the anti-corruption crusader Hazare has accused Modi and BJP, saying they are not able to curb corruption in the country. He has warned Modi that he must fulfill his poll promise of paying every Indian citizen Rs. 15 lakh (USD $25,000 approximately).
Modi and his party BJP had allured the Indian voters before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 saying they will recover the black money stashed away abroad by a slew of Indian crooks and distribute it among all citizens of India.
The BJP had estimated that Rs. 15 lakh will be the share of every Indian if all the unaccounted money is brought back from the foreign coffers. But BJP has failed to bring back the black money and corruption is touching the sky in India.
Hazare says while Modi government has failed in its nine months of rule, it is now trying to hit farmers’ interests by introducing anti-farmer policies.
In 2011, Hazare had led a massive anti-corruption campaign in New Delhi primarily against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by Congress party, which was facing a series of corruption charges. In the Lok Sabha election of 2014, Congress suffered a massive defeat and is now almost dead in the political arena.
But Modi seems to be undeterred by Hazare’s agitation, as he has decided to go ahead with his amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.
Hazare, however, has warned Modi’s BJP government that he will come back after a few months to launch a bigger campaign if the government ignored his advice which is in favor of farmers in India.
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Photo courtesy: Anna Hazare website