NEW DELHI: Stepping up his anti-graft offensive, Anna Hazare on Sunday made a strong pitch for ‘right to reject’ and said people with criminal cases pending against them should be kept out of Parliament using the clause. “Arvind (Kejriwal) has just said people with cases against them are sitting in
Parliament…to stop this, we must use right to reject,” Hazare said addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar during the joint one-day fast with yoga guru Ramdev.
When a voter feels that none of the candidates contesting is good, he should use the right to reject, he said.
“If eight candidates are contesting from a constituency, and a voter feels these are all criminals, not one of them is good’, he should choose the last option which is right to reject,” he said.
“We have to implement this and not just speak about it,” he said.
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said on Twitter, “Anna says v (sic) have a long struggle ahead! We must strive for Right 2 Reject. To reject devil/deep sea. Next round will get better candidates.”
Hazare refuted allegations about rift in Team Anna or any misunderstanding with Ramdev.
“I was on a tour of 36 districts in Maharashtra. I left the tour and came as I had promised Ramdev that I would support him,” he said.
“If I hadn’t shown up, people would have again said that there is a rift with Ramdev,” he said.
Hazare asked the youth to play an active role in development, especially of rural areas.
Quoting Gandhi, he said development based on exploitation is not good or useful.
“Out of a billion plus population, if just six lakh youths come forward and adopt one village each, our country will progress,” he said.
Noting that development and removing corruption went hand-in-hand, he said, “Without both, our country will not go anywhere.”
Referring to his activities against corruption in Maharashtra, he said, “I have fought against corruption for 25 years. After my agitation, 6 ministers and 400 bureaucrats were sacked.”
He said the Right to Information Act was an important tool to uncover corruption.
“Adarsh society scam came out due to RTI. Seven secretaries have gone in (jail), now it’s the turn of ministers,” he said.
He asked the people to dedicate time to social service.
On the other hand, rebutting allegations that he left the fast venue after Ramdev virtually snubbed him, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that he had to leave as he was unwell and he has the “greatest respect” for the yoga guru.
“I had to leave fast venue bcoz I am v(ery) unwell. I told this to Anna and swamiji. It is wrong to say that I left in protest,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
“I have greatest respect for swamiji,” he tweeted.
He said he would convince the yoga guru about the importance of taking names and demand action against corrupt people.
“This is a political battle and we will have to name and shame and demand severe action against corrupt people,” he said in his tweet.
“I will personally speak to Swami Ramdev ji. I am sure I will be able to persuade him that naming is important,” he said.
Earlier, yoga guru Ramdev, while virtually snubbing Kejrival, disapproved of his comments against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other politicians during his fast along with Anna Hazare saying he was against personal criticism.
Soon after Kejriwal, who was on fast along with Anna Hazare and the yoga guru, finished his speech, Ramdev took the microphone and said “today, we thought that we will not take anybody’s name. But Arvind took the names”.
“We don’t want any controversies. Arvind does not have any enmity with anyone. The names have been taken in some context. We are against personal criticism,” he said.
During his speech, Kejriwal attacked Singh and his Cabinet colleagues whom Team Anna had accused of indulging in corruption and mentioned the names of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati. -PTI