Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday came out strongly in support of his fellow campaigner Arvind Kejriwal. Standing by Mr. Kejriwal's integrity and character, Mr. Hazare blamed the government for “playing an ugly game” with Mr. Kejriwal.

Addressing the media on returning to his hometown, Mr. Hazare said: “Why dig out this issue now after four years? I know Kejriwal and he is a selfless person.”

On Friday, the Income Tax Department slapped a notice on Mr. Kejriwal, asking him to pay Rs. 9 lakh. “Kejriwal is working for the country. He could have amassed a lot of wealth, but he did not,” Mr. Hazare said.

“If the government continues to do this, then civil society will have to look for another way to deal with this,” he said, hinting at another agitation.

Mr. Hazare said the victory in New Delhi for the Jan Lokpal Bill belonged to all the people who supported the movement.

Addressing a huge crowd on the Shantiniketan Ground here, Mr. Hazare waved the tricolour at the people who were waiting to see him for the past three weeks. “The country is still being looted through corruption. Till this loot ends, there will be no real independence. The torch of struggle has been lit. People in every corner of the country are standing up.”

He explained the 12-day ordeal that he and his team had to undergo. “[Union Home Minister] P. Chidambaram is a mischievous man. He has lied to us many times during this andolan,” he said. Mr. Hazare was narrating how the DIG (Prisons) of the Tihar Jail did not have any control over the situation, indicating that he was getting orders from the Home Ministry.

The social activist said the fight to end corruption would take at least 15 years more. “This is just the beginning, we still have a long way to go.” Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's dream of a disparity-free nation was still incomplete. “There are social and economic differences among the people. The honour of getting justice is the most important.”

He said farmers and labourers getting their due was important. “Jan sansad — parliament of the people — is important, and anything is possible through it.”

The social activist appealed to the youth to keep burning the torch of freedom.

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