Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Monday advised Anna Hazare and his team members to desist from taking undue credit for the so-called victory over various issues confronting the ruling United Progressive Alliance and the Congress.
"The Congress has already expired because of its own wrongdoings and people are already taking it for the funeral. There is no need for Team Anna to hijack the funeral procession and claim credit," Thackeray said in an edit in the party's eveninger 'Dopaharka Saamna'.
The Sena chief said Team Anna took similar credit for having "defeated" the Congress in the recent Hisar Lok Sabha by-election in Haryana.
"On the contrary, the Congress had notched the third position in the previous election and retained the same even in the last election despite Team Anna's anti-Congress campaign," he said.
"Besides, the late Bhajan Lal's son, Kuldeep Bishnoi, who won with a narrow margin with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) support, also has corruption allegations against him," Thackeray said.
The defeat of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party candidate in Khadakwasla assembly by-poll in Maharashtra was more significant where the Shiv Sena-BJP candidate romped home despite the massive money power of the Congress-NCP.
"Team Anna had not campaigned against the Congress-NCP here," Thackeray said.
The Sena chief wondered what would be the use of Team Anna's decision to campaign against the Congress in the ensuing assembly elections in states, including Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
"The people of the country are reeling under massive inflation with the repeated hike in petrol prices. They have already decided to reject the Congress. Even its allies like the DMK and the Trinamool Congress are unhappy and could withdraw support anytime, leading to the collapse of the UPA government," he said.
"Moreover, elections are being held in states where the Congress already has no support and, hence, Anna Hazare and his team should refrain from taking credit that they will be responsible for Congress' defeat in these states," Thackeray declared.
Referring to the anti-corruption agenda, Thackeray said Hazare was supporting and protecting his tainted team members like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia.
He said Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan had made anti-national statements for which he had not even expressed regrets.
The Sena chief said Hazare's strategies were confusing. At times, he criticised BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and, on other occasions, praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Thackeray said Hazare sometimes went on hunger strikes and once took a vow of silence. On one occasion, he said Congress was a "graduate" while the BJP had acquired a "PhD" in corruption.
"Who has given them the right to talk like this? I feel that instead of concentrating on the elections in states, Hazare should first take care of his health and refrain from preaching on patriotism or corruption," Thackeray said, adding that it was a "fatherly" advice since Hazare recently admitted that he (Thackeray) was older than him (Hazare).