Corruption and Anna Hazare factor dominated the proceedings during question hour session at the HT conclave in Lucknow on Saturday.
Even as the well-attended audience patiently listened to the politicians from various parties during first and second session, there were grueling questions on the twin issues when the sessions were thrown open for interaction.
Facing a volley of questions on the topic the politicians accepted that the issue had assumed menacing dimension. But, all of them did not agree with the perception that Anna Hazare would be a factor in the state election.
Defending fellow politicians Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said by and large they were honest because they had to face their electorate after five years.
Replying to the question on corruption Yadav took on corrupt bureaucrats. "They are dishonest, as they are not answerable in elections".
On Anna Hazare issue while Congress leader Tariq Siddique accepted that it was an issue, the minister for cooperative Swami Prasad Maurya said it was not an issue. "Yes corruption is an issue and the BSP was committed to fight it out", Maurya said.
While the state BJP president Surya Pratap Shahi said even before Anna Hazare resorted to stir, corruption was an important issue, Jayant Chaudhury (RLD) said both corruption and Anna Hazre would have an impact on election. The view of state SP president Akhilesh Yadav was similar.
The HT had organized nearly one-hour question-answer session between the audience and panelists after both sessions of the conclave.
When a student of Loreto Convent Saumya Bajpai pointed out that politicians were facing corruption charges and political parties always forgot their own manifesto after election, Yadav said as compared to the bureaucrats politicians were honest, as they had face electorate after five years. "agar Imandar Bache hain to neta bache hain” (if there are honest people they are politicians), Yadav said. Rajnath said whenever the BJP came to power it honestly implemented the manifesto.