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Anna warns of anti-Congress poll campaign

india Updated: Oct 05, 2011 19:53 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Lokpal Bill

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday warned the Congress, saying he would campaign against the party in assembly polls if his version of the Lokpal bill was not passed in the winter session of Parliament.

As a prelude to that, he has urged the people in Haryana’s Hisar parliamentary constituency to vote against the Congress — which he thinks is not determined to pass the Lokpal Bill — in the bypoll to be held on October 13.

Hazare wants the Congress to give a written commitment before Dussehra (October 6) that it would pass the Lokpal bill. Gujarat, UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur are slated to go to polls in 2012.

“As a ruling party, it is primarily the responsibility of the Congress to ensure that the Lokpal Bill is passed. If the bill is not passed in the winter session, we will ask the people to vote for any party except the Congress,” Hazare told a press conference at his village in Ahmednagar district.

Hazare, along with his associate Arvind Kejriwal, hinted it was mainly Uttar Pradesh which was on their agenda because there both the Congress and the ruling BSP had high stakes.

Hazare is expected to start his campaign from UP on October 15 and will observe a three-day hunger strike.

The Congress termed “unfortunate” Hazare’s decision to campaign against it in Hisar and said the government was committed to setting up a strong and effective Lokpal.

“Whenever the Lokpal comes up, it will be a strong and effective one. Having any pre-conceived notions on the issue is not correct,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said: “The Congress has become a synonym for corruption, which Anna Hazare and many others have correctly realised.”

(With inputs from New Delhi)