Hazare to support Mamata, says no to Kejriwal
Social activist Anna Hazare Wednesday said he will campaign for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha polls, adding that there was no question of his supporting Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal.
"I am supporting didi (Mamata Banerjee) not because of her party, but due to her thoughts for the country and society," Hazare said at a press conference here along with Banerjee.
However, women rights activists expressed "shock" at his decision and asked Hazare to reconsider it because they said women have become "unsafe" under the Trinamool Congress rule in the state.
Hazare said it was only after Banerjee agreed to his 17-point agenda to "change the country", he decided to support her.
"I had written a letter to all political parties and Arvind Kejriwal in which there were 17 points to change the country. Only didi accepted these points," Hazare said.
"Arvind did not answer my letter and there is no question of supporting him," said the activist, who was once close to Kejriwal.
Among the 17 points mentioned by Hazare were judicial reforms, land acquisition law, elector reforms and bringing black money stashed in foreign banks.
"I spent my entire life for the country and the society. For the first time, I have met a person like didi who thinks for the country and society," Hazare said.
Hazare said that if Banerjee wanted, she could lead a luxurious life but instead she lives in a small room.
He said he "will support all the candidates from didi's party in the 2014 elections".
Hazare said his decision to support Banerjee will evoke various reactions but he does not care.
Asked whether his support can be interpreted as his support to Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi since he hailed Banerjee once, Hazare said: "I won't support Narendra Modi or Arvind Kejriwal."
He said the task of bringing change in the political system would become easier if Banerjee bags 100 seats in the general elections.
Meanwhile, Banerjee said: "We have 42 seats in Bengal, but we will contest from Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. In north and south India, we will talk to Anna and contest after taking his advice."
She also said she will not support the United Progressive Alliance or the National Democratic Alliance in the election.
(Posted on 19-02-2014)