Veteran social activist Anna Hazare, who had once praised Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, slammed the level of corruption in the state and said his next venture would be against forceful land acquisition, starting from Gujarat.
"The state gives the impression of being one of the most progressive ones in the country from outside but on closer scrutiny, it is replete with onion layers of corruption," Hazare said.
He said rampant corruption has not even spared the state of Mahatma Gandhi. "Liquor flows more freely than milk in a state where liquor prohibition laws are in force and all I see around are scams," he said, urging Modi "to follow the example of other states and immediately appoint a lokayukta (ombudsman)".
Speaking at a public hearing at the Gujarat Vidyapith here, Hazare, who is campaigning for a powerful anti-graft law, also took note of the resentment voiced by various groups against land acquisition by the government and said that the next public movement will be about land and it will start from Gujarat.
Hazare, who was accompanied by social activist Swami Aginvesh and Right to Information (RTI) activist Arvind Kejriwal, said that the gram sabhas (village councils) should be empowered in a manner that no transaction pertaining to village land can take place without their approval.
"And I think this movement should start from Gujarat," he said, urging Modi to bring a bill that empowers the gram sabhas accordingly.
On the Jan Lokpal Bill, he said it will be a precedent for people's partnership in enacting laws and, in future, all laws will be enacted in this manner.