Social activist Anna Hazare has offered to campaign for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) if he comes across candidates with good credentials.
Addressing a volunteers’ meet here on Thursday, Mr. Hazare said, “A couple of days ago, Arvind [Kejriwal] had called me to inform the name of his party. I said go ahead. But I told them to select good people.”
“If candidates are found to be good, I will personally examine their candidature — what their background is and how dedicated they are to the cause of society. If candidates come clean on my criterion, I will campaign for them,” he said.
Seeking to dispel the notion that he still had sharp differences with Mr. Kejriwal, Mr. Hazare said, “Arvind and I had been fighting together and will continue to fight against corruption. Our paths have become different, but the destination is one — a corruption-free India.”
“Preventing corruption and sending good people to Parliament are equally important. As long as good people don’t go to Parliament, corruption will not be eradicated. We have to work and ensure prevention of corruption as well as sending good people to Parliament,” he said.
Stating that Jan Lokpal was not the only means to check corruption, the social activist, who recently constituted a new team after parting ways with Mr. Kejriwal, said, “Jan Lokpal will be able to check 65 per cent of corruption. But we have to fight for five laws, including the right to reject. If all are passed, 95 per cent of the corruption would be wiped out from the country.”
He also said that he would start a country wide tour from January and appeal to people to take part in a sustained campaign that may stretch to even 20 years for eradicating corruption.
The veteran social activist said farmers in the country were an exploited lot. “They are toiling hard whereas corrupt people are building multi-storeyed buildings on their land. Our campaign will also strengthen the farmer community across the country.”
Mr. Hazare is scheduled to address a farmers’ rally at Jagatsinghpur on Friday.