Hopes From Arvind Kejriwal Over, Says Anna Hazare In Jab At AAP Controversies

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Anna Hazare said he is "very saddened to see" some of Arvind Kejriwal's colleagues have gone to jail.


New Delhi:  Arvind Kejriwal avoided media questions today on his former mentor Anna Hazare's trenchant comments on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders wading into controversies.

Mr Hazare's words in a TV interview on Monday nettled AAP at a time it is dealing with an embarrassing sex scandal that led to the sacking of a minister, Sandeep Kumar, and also allegations that its leaders are taking bribe and exploiting women in election-bound Punjab.

"The hope with which I was looking at him is over," remarked the social activist who worked with Mr Kejriwal on the 2011 campaign for a Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman that caught the nation's attention.

Mr Hazare distanced himself from Mr Kejriwal when the former taxman launched his political party in 2012 despite his objections.

Today, asked to clarify his remarks, the Gandhian reiterated that he felt a "proper check didn't happen" for inducting people in AAP.

"Arvind has been with me for many years. I was very hopeful for Arvind. I was hoping that he will set a different example for politics in India and also that he will give a different direction to the nation," Mr Hazare had said yesterday.

He said he was "very saddened" to see that some AAP leaders have gone to jail and others are "indulging in fraud".

"I am very hurt...When he (Mr Kejriwal) was with me, he wrote a book on gram Swaraj (village self-rule)...Will we call this gram Swaraj? That's why I am very sad."

Mr Hazare said he had earlier questioned Mr Kejriwal on his party: "You are going to roam the world after launching your party. You will hold rallies in the country for the same, but how will you find out that the people who join your party have a good character or not?"

The AAP chief, he said, had no answer. "I had said this earlier also, be it any party or leader, it is necessary to check if the people who join a party have a clean character or not."

Sandeep Kumar is the third AAP leader to be arrested since the party came to power in Delhi; the 36-year-old has been accused by a woman of raping her after giving her a drink laced with sedatives.


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