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Updated: October 9, 2011 00:12 IST

In Haryana ‘Lokpoll’, it’s Congress versus Anna

Rajesh Ahuja
Comment (23)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Social activist Anna Hazare with Arvind Kejriwal during a press conference in Ahmedabad. Team Anna on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Cong ahead of the October 13 Lok Sabha bypoll in Hisar, asking voters to inflict a “historic” defeat on the party for not bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill. File photo
Social activist Anna Hazare with Arvind Kejriwal during a press conference in Ahmedabad. Team Anna on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Cong ahead of the October 13 Lok Sabha bypoll in Hisar, asking voters to inflict a “historic” defeat on the party for not bringing the Jan Lokpal Bill. File photo

With the advocates of the Jan Lokpal Bill determined to demonstrate their ability to teach the “arrogant” Congress a lesson at the polls, the launch of Team Anna's ‘vote against the Congress’ campaign here in Haryana on Saturday has injected some life into an otherwise dull and listless bye-election for the Hissar Lok Sabha constituency, set for October 13.

Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, two core members of anti-corruption social activist Anna Hazare's group, addressed meetings in the constituency to drive home a singe point agenda with electors: that the Congress candidate, Jai Parkash, does not deserve their vote as his party is not sincere about the creation of a strong Lokpal.

Mr. .Kejriwal said the Congress party was ``steeped in arrogance'' and ``must be taught a lesson by the people” in the by-poll. He hastened to add that Team Anna was not supporting any particular candidate in Hissar irrespective of their `credentials or reputation.'` “The people should exercise their franchise carefully while ensuring that not a single vote is polled in favour of the Congress”, he urged.

For the hapless Mr. Parkash -- who finished third in the 2009 General Election and was facing an uphill battle even before the activists arrived -- the message from Team Anna was simple: quit the Congress if you are against corruption.

Though rattled, Congress leaders say Anna's diktat vindicates their stand that some forces in the Opposition were behind the campaign of the social activist.

Undeterred by this charge, the Team Anna members said that if the Congress did not enact the `Jan Lokpal Bill' in the winter session of Parliament, their current appeal to vote against the party would be valid for all upcoming polls.

On the perception that Anna's appeal to vote against the Congress could be read as implicit support for the Haryana Jan Hit-BJP nominee Kuldeep Bishnoi or the Indian National Lok Dal candidate Ajay Singh Chautala -- against whom chargesheets have been filed in cases of corruption -- Mr. Kejriwal said voters should be given the right to reject candidates

Mr. Parkash won the Hissar seat in 2004 but was unseated by Bhajan Lal of the Haryana Jan Hit Congress while the INLD came second. The seat fell vacant after Bhajan Lal died in June this year.

Haryana Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana and party campaign in-charge Venod Sharma told The Hindu the Congress was committed to rooting out corruption and did not need any certificate from Team Anna. Venod Sharma, who was earlier a minister in the Haryana government, was forced to resign in 2006 after allegations that he helped bribe witnesses in the Jessica Lal murder case to protect his son, Manu Sharma.

In his campaign meetings here, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda lashed out at Team Anna and said their ``irrelevant'' appeal would not have any impact on the voters as they were aware that the Congress regime had ushered in rapid development in the State.

i will support anna team in terms of Jan Lokpal bill but not in this way.If a candidate done so much coruption in previous terms and now support for Jan lokpal bill then people should vote for this candiadte just because for his support to Jan lokpal bill. If it so then in next elections or other state election they will be only Corupt candidates will be in Parliment/ assembly rather than clean leaders.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Oct 13, 2011 at 10:18 IST

Recently i saw an interview of Anand Kejriwal on Loksabha TV. In that interview Anand Kejriwal was so rude and arrogant with the interviewer that i was shocked. And now this guy is telling everyone that Congress is arrogant and should be taught a lesson. My question to Mr. Kejriwal is whether Congress is arrogant towards him or towards public? If Congress is arrogant towards general public, then public knows how to teach Congress a lesson. Or if Congress is arrogant towards Mr. Kejriwal then he should take it personally with Congress, instead of pulling people into his personal matter.

from:  Shahid
Posted on: Oct 10, 2011 at 19:49 IST

Anna please go ahead. You are doing it for we citizens and we'll always be with you.....

from:  gaurav
Posted on: Oct 10, 2011 at 11:31 IST

Why not Anna jump in to the political fray and teach a lesson to the citizens how to run a corruption free government? He is in fact misleading the electorate.

from:  S N S Rao
Posted on: Oct 10, 2011 at 06:41 IST

Anna Hazare and his team slowly but showing steadily their true face. Their campaign is not against corruption, its against the congress party. History will unfold their true faces. The self proclaimed civil society leaders must understand that its good to strengthen an existing system than creating a new one. Lokpal will have the same fate as vigilance commissions in India. Why does the Jan lokpal silent on the corporate houses, the major catalyst of corruption in India.? Its understandable that no one will cut the branch which they sit.

from:  George Punnakkadan
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 22:58 IST

Annaji and Team go head, opening batsman Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi you
hit the runs power play running in hissar match

from:  Amarnath.Biradar
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 22:13 IST

It is crystal clear that Team Anna is not really serious of Lokpal or eradicating corruption instead their only agenda is to oppose Congress party. Team Anna is saying that they are not for vote politics or party politics, but by openly calling upon voters to reject Congress candidate they have indulged in vote politics and also indulge in anti congress party politics on the lines of opposition parties. Thus team Anna's credentials and motives are no good than any political party in India.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 21:21 IST

In last elections at Hissar the same congress candidate got 204000 votes and came third.If Team Anna were to claim mandate for their Jan Lokpal Bill they must be able to reduce the congress votes to 20000. Then they would be vindicated. If Cong can maintain almost same vote as 2009 team anna may be exposed

from:  sk
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 15:09 IST

Guess Kejriwal should be behind this.Select a constituency where anyway Congress is already losing.Proclaim their defeat as Anna's Victory. Would love to see them doing this in strong Congress constituencies or in TN where both the main parties are corrupt in the local body elections. What is this other than flogging a dead horse.

from:  Maddy
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 14:24 IST

Mr. Hazare has done a noble thing in bringing about awareness on corruption. Howeve,r by getting into politics, he is entering the same gate which should not be crossed by any true Gandhian. His aim will succeed if he detaches himself from all politics, and strives for corruption free India, whether ruled by the Congress or BJP.

The mistake most people are making is that they are simplifying the problem of corruption in India, it did not start with the Congress or end with the BJP. All people, ministers, MLAs and even simple people should resolve not to be corrupt or support corruption. A simple example is why do auto and taxi drivers demand more money from the passenger? The simple fact is that as Mohan Bhargav says in the film Swades: Hum sab galt mein hein, meaning, we all are at fault.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 12:43 IST

Some points of Annaji like (i) rejection of all candidates by electorates (ii) Jan Lokpal bill to include all functionaries with inclusion of defence sector also are completely in tune with the need of the time of crony capitalism .

from:  Atis
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 10:33 IST

Congress party was already at no. 3 in Hisar by-poll. Now even after Anna ji's appeal it will be at no. 3 only . i.e. No new effect of Team Anna's appeal on Result of Hisar by-poll. There will be a direct fight between Ajay Chautala(INLD) & Kuldeep Bishnoi (HJC-BJP) ...Local issues of Hisar constituency will be more important than Corruption in this by-poll

from:  Avinash Kumar
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 10:09 IST

Whether Anna's philosophy can contest mighty congress which has abundant resources and tricks and succeed in domocratic India is a big question. It is very difficult to realize the value of vote amid poverty and illiteracy. It may take a few more decades when old leaders exit from the political scene and quality of life of general population increase. The misfortune of India is that all leading parties are sailing in the same boat except 'Lok Satta' in an index of the state of affairs.

from:  Vyas K S
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 09:37 IST

That Congress is committed to rooting out corruption is not the major issue but when that committment will be transformed into action is and that is what is disturbing the minds of people like Anna Hazare who just launched yet another attack on the ruling party Congress by calling for a boycott of Congress in a by-election! Now the question is, why can't the ruling party make a clear cut announcement of a time-table for the enactment of the anti-corruption legislatioin?

from:  Swamivas
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 09:20 IST

Instead of no vote for Congress it should be no vote for any party. Appreciate Team Anna's efforts.

from:  Xavier Surender
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 09:02 IST

It does not matter whether ANNA team is acting as a proxy. what is relevent is whether congrass is prepared to get rid of the corrupt and emerge truly as peoples party.

from:  Rajni Sheth
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 08:39 IST

Instead of to vote against Congress Candidate, Team Anna should tell the people to elect the candidate who do not have any criminal records and also vow to eliminate corruption in his constituency.

from:  G Venkataramani
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 06:14 IST

People of India, This is the time to teach a lesson to the rulers that you are actually the ruler. Dont vote the congress, they should not get a single vote. If you dont know who to vote, refrain from voting or vote a candidate who is clean, no matter from any party as long as he doesnt belong to congress. Please, do this for your own sake and for the country.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 02:56 IST

Let me first make it clear thatI am not a sympathiser of the Congress and when I was in India I had not voted for the Congress in any of the elections. I shall be returning to India soon and I shall never vote for the Congress; nor would I vote any communal party. However, Hazare's targetting the Congress party alone is the most dangerous act as it benefits only the Saffron brigade in the prevailng situation. in fact, Hazare has betrayed his communal bias of which genuinely secular people had always been suspecting him. It is true the Congress plays the communal card whenever it suites them as it was manifest in Kerala during the last Lok Sabha election. Hazare should immediately correct himself if he wants to sustain the momentum of the anti-corruption movement. If he continues this covert support to the main anti-secular force in the country, he will soon find himself thrown into the dustbin of history.

from:  V.M.Mohanraj
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 02:16 IST

Participation in any election campaign by Anna or his team will ruin their image which they have acquired in recent time. People associated with Congress will appose Anna team's hidden agenda of blackmailing the Govt. for their own interest.

from:  Kalky
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 00:17 IST

Anna is right in asking for Lokpall bill, we should not forget that Its always the implementation of rule which fail often. Indians should stand and collectively deny anybody asking for bribe.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Oct 9, 2011 at 00:10 IST

Anna and Team Anna are trouble shooters. you will never get anything good from a trouble shooter and will make matters worse. He is trying hard to destroy India's democratic process. If Anna has a real vindication against corruption, his best bet is to contest as a Independent candidate and join the law making process.

from:  Nixon
Posted on: Oct 8, 2011 at 23:55 IST

Team anna should go ahead with a fight against currption. they should demand for right to reject. Right to reject will insure that no party will come up with a bad candidate.

from:  Tarun Joshi
Posted on: Oct 8, 2011 at 23:52 IST
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