Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Sureshdada Jain Saturday called anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare a ‘Taliban Gandhi’.
Jain, who has filed a defamation case against Hazare, said in Jalgaon that “nobody can misuse the name of Mahatma Gandhi” in the manner the crusader is doing in his agitation on the anti-graft Lokpal bill.
“Everybody is against corruption. But we are a country of great institutions and they cannot be bypassed by using such pressure tactics,” Jain told IANS.
“Everything will happen on its own time. You cannot resort to blackmailing tactics of this kind,” Jain said, referring to Hazare’s proposed agitation for the Lokpal bill in Delhi from Aug 16.
Hazare, who had come here Saturday afternoon in connection with the defamation case, said: “The whole world knows who is Anna Hazare and who is Suresh Jain. Such people pelt stones at trees which bear fruits.”
In 2003, Hazare accused Jain, the then Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister, of corruption and launched an agitation.
The ruling Congress-NCP state government later set up a commission headed by former judge P.B. Sawant to probe the charges against Jain and the then two ministers - Nawab Malik and Padamsinh Patil, who were named by Hazare.
Justice Sawant’s report, submitted in 2005, indicted Jain, along with Malik. Jain was forced to resign from the ministry, after which he slapped a defamation case against Hazare.
“Who is he to speak about corruption? I had exposed his corruption rackets and that is why he agitated against me,” Jain said.
Following Jain’s complaints of corruption against Hazare, the commission probed him. Hazare was also indicted under several counts of corrupt practices by the commission.