Mr. Hazare’s anti-corruption movement has been out on a limb after his close aides, first Arvind Kejriwal and now Kiran Bedi, have decided to take the plunge into politics.
Speaking to television channels at his “model village” Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district, Mr. Hazare said the promises made by the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party had come a cropper.
“People still have to pay bribes to get even the smallest of tasks done. Appointment of the Lokpal in every district would have reduced corruption by at least 50 per cent in the country,” said Mr. Hazare, professing disappointment with Mr. Modi’s six-month tenure as Prime Minister and his failure to implement the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The 77-year-old activist further rebuffed suggestions that he had been “soft” on the BJP during his ‘India Against Corruption’ campaign in 2011 which was directed against the Congress-led UPA government and had commanded a groundswell of popular support.
“I do not know whether popular strength will be more or less during my forthcoming agitation as compared with 2011. But agitate I must and will. I maintain my opposition to political parties,” Mr. Hazare had told a private channel on Wednesday.
Mr. Hazare reiterated that he would begin his campaign for a corruption-free India in Delhi soon after the polls in the capital.
The agitation is expected to especially corner the BJP government over the Land Acquisition Law, whose amendments have purportedly made Mr. Hazare unhappy and which the Narendra Modi government has passed by means of an ordinance.