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Monday, April 11, 2011

Anna Hazare asked to retract Modi praise

Anna Hazare's reported statement praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's developmental agenda has earned him a barrage of protests from his own supporters, and even demands that he retract his words.

Veteran Gandhians and activists have written to Anna Hazare, saying that claims of rural development made by Gujarat under Chief Minister Narendra Modi were false and the noted anti-corruption crusader needs to correct his statement about the BJP leader.

Hazare had yesterday praised Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for their efforts on rural development, and said their counterparts in other states should emulate them.

Meanwhile, noted danseuse and activist Mallika Sarabhai, who was one of the vocal supporters of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade, has also asked the social reformer to retract his praise of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for development work.

She e-mailed Hazare urging him to retract it. Her mail said: “We are deeply shocked by your endorsement of Modi’s rural development. There has been little or no rural development in the state. In fact gauchar lands and irrigated farmlands have been stealthily taken by the government and sold off at ridiculous prices to a small club of industrialists. There has been no Lokayukta in Gujarat for nearly seven years so hundreds of complaints against corruption are lying unheard.”

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who came in for praise by Anna Hazare, on Monday (11-Apr-2011) said the social activist may now be subjected to a "vilification" campaign by a certain group "inimical" to Gujarat.

"Yesterday I heard about your blessings for me and my state. I fear that you will be subjected to vilification. A certain group inimical to Gujarat will not let go this opportunity to malign your love, sacrifice, penance and commitment to truth. They will try to tarnish your name because you spoke well of me and my state," Modi said in an open letter to Hazare.

Several prominent persons who had joined Anna Hazare during his four-day hunger-strike in support of his demand for a ‘Lokpal Bill’ have said that the campaign would be tainted if he did not take his words of praise back.

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