Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has hit back at Gandhian Anna Hazare for supporting the attack on him.
"By supporting the attack on me, Anna has supported violence and has brought forward a new meaning of Gandhism and non-violence. Anna has hatred against me. Next time, if someone attacks me physically, there will be no need to explain who has instigated him," Pawar said on Wednesday.
Few hours after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief was slapped by a man, in New Delhi on November 24, Hazare had joked and asked if Pawar had been slapped just once. On Tuesday he accused Pawar of "protecting corrupt people".
He mentioned a series of incidents regarding government negligence towards farmers when Pawar was at the helm of affairs. Hazare and Pawar have been at loggerheads for almost two decades.
Hazare said, “Pawar’s supporters hurled the dirtiest abuses against me. I have kept a CD of it and will play it before the public at an appropriate time.”
Declaring himself an admirer of Shivaji, Hazare wrote that his earlier anti-violence comment was from the Gandhian point of view. But now, he thinks “for the betterment of society, I do not consider this violence as wrong”.
Hazare wrote that it was important to discuss why the youth slapped Pawar. People take the law into their hands when they reach the limit of their patience he said.
During the last assembly elections in Maharashtra, Hazare had made serious allegations against Pawar, including charges of corruption, land grabbing and use of muscle power. Recently, Hazare blamed Pawar for protecting the Lavasa project for his personal interest in the project.
Pawar was slapped by a man called Harvinder Singh, in New Delhi on November 24 at the NDMC centre where he was the chief guest for a function.
(With HT inputs)