Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Maharashtra's BJP wants to avoid Anna Hazare like a plague

Political parties cannot be believed for what they say. But BJP sources, especially those from Maharashtra say, that they are not tempted to ride the Anna Hazare bandwagon to corner the Congress-led UPA government on the issue of corruption. They claim that Anna Hazare is a like a loose cannon and all that they would want to do is save themselves from being hit by him. They say they are far from tempted to cosy up to him in their zeal to score a point against the Congress.
While some of the leaders seem to feel that they have been left out of the loop as it were by not holding the all-party meeting before giving in to Anna Hazare's demands for a committee to draft the Lokpal, there is a sense of relief among a section of them that they do not have to confront the maverick crusader and his maverick associates.
One of them says that Anna Hazare has always truned against those very people who had supported him and that makes him an unreliable partner. They all agree that he is a good man and that he has done good work in his village Ralegan Siddi.
It is pointed out that Anna Hazare served as CAPART chairman when BJP's M.Venkaiah Naidu was the union rural development ministry, and that he was both erratic and eccentric in the way he managed things when he was at the helm.
The received wisdom in the BJP seems to be: avoid talking about Anna Hazare in any which way. But there was no stop stopping party's senior leader L.K.Advani writing in his blog on whow finance minister Pranab Mukherjee talked to him over the phone on the response the government was planning, and Advani had also approved the anti-corruption movement led by Hazare. The other part of Sangh Parivar which has become vocal about Hazare is the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS)< which has also praised his crusade.
One of the BJP sources explained away the thank you letter that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi wrote to Anna Hazare as something praising himself more than Hazare, and that this should not be seen as Modi giving his thumbs up to Hazare.
It is clear that the BJP wants to keep as far away from BJP as it can. When asked whether the BJP would join hands with Hazare to fight Congresss, the answer was a resounding 'No' and 'Never'.
Though the BJP would like to remain outside the Hazare firing range, it surely would not mind profiting from whatever Hazare can gain in his tussle with the Congress.

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