Ralegan-Siddhi (Maharashtra), Jan 1:
Social activist Kisan Baburao alias Anna Hazare on Friday said there is “no difference between the UPA and NDA governments” and reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his “forgotten” election promises.
In a three-pager addressed to Modi, Hazare has said that it is imperative to implement the Lok Pal and Lokayukta to “control corruption to an extent” and give a fair price to agriculture produce to stop farmers’ suicides in the country.
The 79-year-old pointed out how before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi promised that if the Bharatiya Janata Party was voted to power, he would strive to make the country “corruption-free”.
“However, even now corruption has not decreased, no work can be done without paying bribes… Even inflation has not been curbed. In the matter of corruption, there is no difference between the UPA and NDA governments,” Hazare wrote.
He reminded Modi that when he first stepped inside parliament, he vowed to maintain its sanctity like a temple: “But parliament sessions are lost in fights-arguments… crores of rupees of public money is being wasted.”
Touching upon a sensitive issue, Hazare recalled how Modi promised to get back the black money stashed abroad “within 100 days” and each Indian would get Rs.15 lakh in his bank account. “But that has not happened till now, forget Rs.15 lakh, people have not got even Rs.15.”
“You are neither speaking about the Lok Pal and Lokayukta laws nor implementing them. We had hopes that you would address them in your ‘Mann Ki Baat’ (PM’s monthly radio address to the nation), especially since you had assured that you would tackle corruption,” Hazare said.
On the agriculture front, he said the government promised 1.5 times returns to the farming community, but since that remains unimplemented, farmers suicides continue to plague farmlands across India.
Hazare added that in the past, former prime ministers like P.V. Narasimha Rao used to call and speak with him occasionally, even A.B. Vajpayee would enquire about him whenever he travelled to Maharashtra, while Manmohan Singh – whom he had targeted – also used to reply to his letters.
“Perhaps you get angry by my letters and they end up in the dustbin… I am just an ordinary citizen who is powerless against the government, at best I can launch an agitation…,” Hazare said, from his village in Ahmedbagar district of the state.(IANS)