At a time when Arvind Kejriwal is making national headlines with his series of "exposes" against leaders from both the BJP and the Congress, his mentor and Gandhian activist Anna Hazare has said that the activist-turned-politician does not have greed for money. Speaking to NDTV, Anna praised his former protégé and said he is sacrificing and more concerned about the society than his own family.
"Usme tyag ki bhavna hai, woh ghar ke baare me kabhi itna sochta nahi hai, jitna samaj aur desh ke baare me sochta hai, aur swarth, paise ka swarth nahi hai lekin abhi rajneeti me jane ke baad dusra swarth hai, matlab woh khud mantri nahi banega...
(He is sacrificing. He thinks more about the society than his own family. He is not selfish...does not have greed for money. But after entering, he has a different greed...he will not himself become a minister...)," he said.
Mr Hazare was then asked if Mr Kejriwal is greedy for power. To this, he replied, "Aisa ho sakta hai lekin baki koi swarth usme nahi hai
(Could be, but he has no other greed).
Anna had parted ways with Mr Kejriwal after he decided to launch his political party last month.
Mr Kejriwal has so far refused to comment on Anna's remark. "I won't comment till I have heard the remarks myself," he has said.
When he formed his political party last month, Mr Kejriwal had promised to "expose corrupt leaders." He and his supporters have since held several press conferences and released documents against politicians like union minister Salman Khurshid, BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
Asked about his reaction to these "revelations," Anna said that according to him, there is no harm in making accusations as long as they are backed by proofs. "Saboot hai toh aarop karna dosh nahi hai, saboot hai toh...
(If there is proof, making accusations is not wrong.)" He however added that Mr Kejriwal and his team should focus and target one minister at a time.
In his latest expose yesterday, Mr Kejriwal accused the Prime Minister of selling out the country to allow windfall profits to Mukesh Ambani's Reliance over its contract to develop the country's key natural gas field in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. He said the government appears to be leaning towards allowing Reliance to charge more for the gas it supplies, a sanction which violates the contract and would allow the company to benefit by 43,000 crores.
"It appears that Mukesh Ambani and not the PM runs the country. The PM's heart beats for Reliance and not the people of India," he said.
Reliance has however refuted the charges affirmed by Mr Kejriwal and other members of India Against Corruption.
Mr Kejriwal's decision to launch a political party, he described it as "a political alternative," was announced in August, when the India Against Corruption movement that Anna and he had headlined appeared to be dissipating in public. Speaking to NDTV, Anna added that he would support only "good candidates" from Mr Kejriwal's party.