Mohan Bhagwat's claimed involvement in Hazare's campaign
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's statement that it was part of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement has snowballed into a controversy with the Gandhian dismissing the claim and the Congress saying Mr. Hazare's claim of being non-partisan had been falsified.
Mr. Hazare told reporters: “Not a single RSS worker met me or approached me. How are they saying this? I don't know.”
He was reacting to remarks RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had made at a Dussehra rally in Nagpur on Thursday that its volunteers “are already active in all movements against corruption without craving for their own position and credit.”
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said Mr. Bhagwat's Dussehra speech “vindicated” his conviction that “the campaigns of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare have been planned, engineered and organised by the RSS.”
Taking a jibe at Mr. Hazare for his previous reactions to such remarks of his, Mr. Singh said: “Whenever I say that Anna's campaign was run by the RSS, he tells me that I should go to the mental asylum. Now after Mohan Bhagwat's assertions, I want to ask Anna do I still need to go to an asylum?”
The senior Congress leader said Mr. Hazare should now ‘sever' the RSS from his agitation since Mr. Bhagwat had already “admitted” it.
At the All India Congress Committee briefing, party spokesperson Manish Tewari echoed similar views. “What is evident need not to be evidenced,” he said, when asked about Mr. Bhagwat's statements.
The Congress reaction comes on the heels of the Gandhian's announcement of his plans to campaign against the party in the Hissar Lok Sabha by-election.
Mr. Tewari, however, downplayed the issue saying that the Congress fought all elections with gusto and accepted the people's verdict with grace. “We will try our best to win the trust of the people,” he said.
Mr. Bhagwat lashed out at the government for attempting to crush the anti-corruption movement and condemned the reported police brutality on the supporters of Baba Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan in June.
Mr. Hazare on Friday asked people not to vote for the Congress saying it had failed to bring about the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Following through with the threat he had issued three days ago, Mr. Hazare issued the appeal to the electorate through a CD.