Anna Hazare does not seem to have taken kindly to his one-time lieutenant Kiran Bedi joining politics. At his home in Ralegan Siddhi on Wednesday, a visibly upset Hazare refused to comment on Bedi’s move, saying he wanted nothing to do with the ‘dirt’ that politics is.
“I do not want to say anything. Politics is dirt. I do not have any connection with it,” Hazare said, slamming his door at the mediapersons gathered outside his house.
With Bedi joining electoral politics, Hazare stands isolated from the vanguard of his Lokpal movement, which took the country by storm in 2012. While Arvind Kejriwal went on to found the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), VK Singh, and now Bedi, have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sources close to Hazare said while the Gandhian had been expecting Bedi would enter the BJP soon, he has avoided her calls and has not spoken to her since.
“This was expected as Bedi has been praising Modi before the Lok Sabha elections. We were expecting this during the polls. It [Bedi joining BJP] is actually late,” said a close associate of Hazare.
Bedi had been critical of Kejriwal for joining electoral politics and ditching Hazare when he floated the AAP.
Hazare supporters in Ralegan Siddhi said Bedi had asked the 77-year-old activist to not criticise the BJP, but target the Congress, when the Lokpal Bill was proposed in 2013. While the AAP had censured the draft of the bill, Bedi had supported it.
Sources close to Hazare do not rule out the possibility of the social activist posing some embarrassing questions to Bedi in the midst of electioneering, like he did with Kejriwal.