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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Hazare to back Modi ‘only if he quits BJP’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Washington, August 30, 2013
First Published: 00:31 IST(30/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(30/8/2013)

Anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare may appear to have endorsed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at a recent event during his US visit, but it wasn’t one actually.

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To qualify for Hazare’s endorsement, the chief minister would have to leave his party, the BJP, which he is unlikely to do and, therefore, he will never get it.

Here is what happened.

Hazare was asked about his stand on Modi at an interaction with the Indian American community in Delaware on August 20, which was reported by Huffington Post on Wednesday. Hazare did not endorse Modi at first, according to the Post.

“He said he did not believe in political parties and since Modi was a member of BJP, a political party, he could not endorse him,” said the report.

Hazare was then discussing his stand on political parties, who he doesn’t support on principle holding them chiefly responsible for corruption in India.

When pressed to endorse Modi as an individual, the report said, Hazare “responded by saying that if Modi left the BJP, he would be happy to endorse him”.

“For an ethical activist, it was a very political answer,” wrote a Post article author, Muqtedar Khan, a Delaware University associate professor who moderated that public interaction.

He added, “Anna was trying to get out of endorsing Modi without annoying his supporters. And Modi has many supporters among Indian Americans.

Hazare left for India on Wednesday after a multi-city tour of the US, that included meetings with Indian Americans, US lawmakers and at least one governor, Nikki Haley of South Carolina.


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