Anna on agitation or agenda?


Is this protest an attempt to tarnish the image of BJP for enabling AAP to expand its base across the country?

Anna-LeadSocial activist Anna Hazare has begun his protest at Jantar Mantar against the Modi government’s decision to amend the Land Acquisition Ordinance. Hazare had earlier led the fight against corruption against the UPA government which resulted into the downfall of the government. When Hazare had protested against corruption, people had criticised him for supporting the BJP. Is Anna’s campaign politically motivated and not issue based? Often political parties have used him for targeting the opposition for deriving political mileage.

Thus this time, it’s the turn of AAP and Congress party to join his campaign for gaining an upper hand over BJP. Is this protest an attempt to tarnish the image of BJP for enabling AAP to expand its base across the country? Even though Anna has clarified that he won’t share the platform with political parties like AAP and Congress but both these parties have come forward to support him for countering BJP. The veteran social activist had even congratulated Arvind Kejriwal for winning the Delhi assembly polls. Hazare is holding the protest to demand the withdrawal of the anti-farmer amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

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The Land Acquisition Act, 2013 stipulates mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent of land owners for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies.

In December last, the government had promulgated the Ordinance making significant changes in the Land Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas — industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

According to sources, “When Anna Hazare had launched his agitation against corruption the entire country had supported him as the issue affected the common man. However, this time Hazare’s campaign is politically motivated as opposition parties like AAP and Congress are only supporting him to garner political mileage.”

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“How can we trust Hazare who is often keeping on changing his stand? Last time, he was campaigning against Congress and this time he has targeted BJP. How can people believe him? He often uses media and issues statement to remain in limelight. This campaign doesn’t look genuine. It should address the problems faced by small farmers and not their richer counterparts.”

Anna Hazare said that the agitation may continue if the government does not take back the “anti-farmer” provisions. “If the government doesn’t take the ordinance back, then the people will also continue with their agitation. The activists will make aware the farmers (of the amendments). There is a chance that farmers from across the country will gather at the Ramlila Maidan in the next three-four months,

Speaking at the protest venue, Hazare criticized the ruling BJP at the Centre over its promise of ‘achhe din’ during the Lok Sabha polls last year.