Ralegan Siddhi (Maha):
Social activist Anna Hazare is full of praise for his one-time protege Arvind Kejriwal, who he says has not taken “a wrong step” after becoming the Delhi Chief Minister.
Hazare says Kejriwal is a man of “clean character and an idealist”, who changed the “common man’s appraoch” to politics.
“Arvind Kejariwal is a man of clean character who is committed to moral values in politics. I have not seen him take a wrong step during the last one year of his tenure as the Chief Minster,” Hazare said.
He said Kejriwal, his comrade-in-arms in India against corruption movement, faces the challenge to take along good people in politics.
“He is an idealist. His performance as the Chief Minster so far is a positive achievement. To start a political party was earlier regarded as privilege of the rich. Arvind has changed the common man’s approach to politics.
“He is honest and transparent. Manish Sisodia (Deputy CM) is also a committed idealist. I want to see politics in the country getting freed from influence of money power,” Hazare told PTI in an interview.
Hazare and Kejriwal had fallen out following the latter’s decision to join active politics after floating a political party. However, subsequently there was a thaw and Hazare even gave some suggestions to Kejriwal which the latter included in the Jan Lokpal Bill brought by the Delhi government in December last year.
Hazare also rejected Kejriwal’s criticism by his detractors that the Delhi Chief Minister had little respect for the Constitution or the law.
“I do not agree that Arvind has no respect for the Constitution or law of the country. He has come from the movement and asserts his rights. To undertake Satyagraha is not anti-Constitution. He has not advocated violence as by Naxals to change the system,” he said.
The odd-even road rationing experiment undertaken by the Kejriwal government also came in for praise by Hazare.
“The even-odd number vehicles scheme introduced by the Delhi government should be adopted in all big cities. It deserves praise as it will help reduce pollution and traffic congestion. People should change their notions of personal status and make use of public transport,” he said.