Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare sought to "clarify" that he was opposed to communalism even as he had praised chief ministers Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar for their developmental efforts.
After praising the two at a press conference, Hazare issued a statement "to clarify" on the
"On a question asked in my press conference, I praised only the developmental work done by Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar in rural areas. Alongside, I clarified that I am equally opposed to any form of communal disharmony.
"I am completely opposed to any kind of communalism or discrimination on religious or caste lines. I strongly condemn and oppose any kind of communal violence."
He said people from "all faiths and religions" were founders and participants in his anti-corruption movement.
He said the movement was "not attached to any political party".
"The movement is completely nonpartisan and will remain so. I sincerely urge the press to understand my intentions, which is to save this country from corruption by taking people of all faiths and religions along."
At the press conference earlier in the day, Hazare said: "The work done by chief ministers of Bihar (Nitish Kumar) and Gujarat (Narendra Modi) should be done by the chief ministers of all states.
"I am not in support of any party, but the work they (Modi and Nitish Kumar) have done at the grassroots level is needed. The rural development they have done should be imitated," he said.
When a reporter referred to the 2002 riots in Gujarat when Modi was in power, Hazare said he was only talking about the work of a chief minister and does not want to get into politics.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi sharply reacted to Hazare's comments saying "no secular person in the country can support Modi".
"If you support Modi, you are supporting the massacre of 2002," he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Shahnawaz Hussain praised Hazare for appreciating development works in the BJP-ruled states.
"These are NDA-ruled states. Concrete steps are being taken there against corruption. This is good that he cited both the states as examples," Hussain said.
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