Sharad Pawar protects the corrupt: Hazare

New Delhi : Social activist Anna Hazare Tuesday accused Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar of protecting corrupt people who will have to be tried for graft once the Lokpal institution is in place.

Hazare posted on his blog that it was Pawar’s “old habit” to support and protect the corrupt, and listed instances when he had to resort to movements to get justice for people affected by graft.

Referring to his comments soon after Pawar was attacked by a youth here recently and the anger of politicians against such acts of violence, Hazare said he had “committed violence” by those remarks, though it was verbal in nature.

“Sharad Pawar has an old habit of keeping the company of corrupt people. The politicians got so angry with that one slap that many buses were burnt, national property was destroyed, many shops were damaged, many private vehicles were damaged – but this did not make anyone angry. This is unfortunate,” Hazare said.

“For the betterment of the society and the country, I have used strong words many times in the past. ‘Just One Slap?’ – I admit that I committed violence when I said that. But for the betterment of society, I do not consider this violence as wrong.”

“Many politicians felt very bad about the slapping incident. Many of them got very angry also. But it is important to discuss as to why did that youth slap,” he said.

Hazare said corruption is rising day-by-day. “This corruption has made it difficult for the ordinary people to live. So much inflation is due to corruption only. It is increasingly becoming difficult for people to run their families. When the limit to patience ends, then some people take law in their own hands and commit such acts,” he said.

“What this young man did was wrong – there are no two opinions about it. And I have also condemned it,” he added.

Hazare said he had organised several movements along with thousands of activists for the betterment of society and solving their problems. “But we never allowed any national property or private property to be damaged,” he said.

Condemning the alleged damage to property by Pawar’s supporters after the youth slapped him, Hazare said: “Any damage to national property is our personal loss.”

“Many people got angry due to one slap, but when the people who have dedicated their entire life for society and country are victimised, then no one gets angry. This is unfortunate.”

“I have a request – if you have anger against me and want to burn my effigies, then continue doing that as you have been doing till now. Do whatever you want to insult me, but do not damage national property because it belongs to all of us. Protect it,” he added.

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