Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak on Monday urged Kalawati, a farmer from Yavatmal, who gained fame after Rahul Gandhi referred to her plight during a Parliamentary debate last year, to "refrain from joining politics" and render social service.
"I suggest you should refrain from politics and concentrate on joining social work. You should not enter politics and if you wish to make people aware of the problems of Vidarbha region, it can be done rendering social service," Pathak told reporters in New Delhi.
Pathak's comments come after Kalwati announced that she would contest the forthcoming Maharashtra assembly elections on a local party's ticket.
After Rahul Gandhi's speech, the Sulabh International founder had committed to deposit Rs 30 lakh in Kalawati's bank account.
Pathak said Kalawati's decision to join a political party will have "socially undesirable fallout" of people losing faith in acts of benevolence for the needy.
He said it was wrong on her part to say that Rahul Gandhi had not helped her as "it was for Rahul Gandhi's reference about Kalawati in his speech that people like me came forward to help her."
Pathak added that he had already given Rs six lakh to Kalawati and would fulfill his commitment of depositing Rs 30 lakh in her account whether she heeds to his advise or not.