The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday said that Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has completely failed to "even engage" those people who had taken part in the Anna Hazare-led Jan Lokpal movement three years ago.
AAP said the empty Ramlila Grounds, where Banerjee held a rally on Wednesday, and the absence of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who was supposed to be there, were proof enough "that people’s loyalty to AAP will not shift."
AAP leader Ashutosh told Hindustan Times: "People are wise. They know who is fighting corruption, who is not. The traditional parties are not interested in fighting corruption; they are out only to fool people. Annaji may also be realising the same; this may be the reason why he chose not to turn up at the rally."
Is AAP relieved that people did not turn up at the TMC rally. "The fact is [AAP leader] Arvind Kejriwal was the architect of the anti-corruption movement and credit for its success goes to him. In the past 18 months, he has proved himself to be a competent leader," the AAP spokesperson said, adding, "I sometimes feel political parties are using Anna Hazare against AAP."
He, however, said, "We have tremendous respect for Anna Hazare. If he has decided to support TMC, it’s his own decision. Hazare had expressed his displeasure, saying AAP was using his name for campaigning. We have no complaints."
Responding to Banerjee who launched a veiled attack on Kejriwal, saying subsidies cannot be a solution, Ashutosh said, "She is the chief minister of West Bengal. She will praise her government. But I think she needs to study the 49-day rule of AAP in Delhi before making such remarks."
TMC has been sending out Hazare’s pre-recorded voice messages, thanking people for making the Lokpal movement a reality and asking them to support TMC.