Social activist Anna Hazare said on Wednesday that he was pained that he had to explain himself time and again regarding his praise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his developmental efforts.

Reacting to an e-mail from danseuse and activist Mallika Sarabhai, in which she had expressed shock at Mr. Hazare's endorsement of Mr. Modi, the anti-graft crusader on Tuesday wrote: “Let me at the outset say that I am totally apolitical and strongly against communalism.

“I am pained that I have to explain myself on Mr. Modi. I was asked about the Gujarat and Bihar Chief Ministers' development work in the press conference held in Delhi and, based on media reports, I said Bihar and Gujarat have done good work in rural development,” Mr. Hazare wrote from Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district.

“At the same time, I had condemned the 2002 riots and communalism. I have focused on rooting out corruption in life. This is a long struggle and I trust that people like you [Ms. Sarabhai], who have fought for people's rights, will understand the spirit of the movement,” the Gandhian said.

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