Once partners in the Lokpal movement, Anna Hazare has criticized Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a letter about the ‘drinking scam’ in Delhi, accusing him of being ‘drowned in the intoxication of power’. News18 has access to the letter Hazare wrote to Kejriwal on August 30.
“This is not befitting of a political party born of a large movement. You too, like other parties, seem caught up in the vicious circle of power through money and money through power. You brought the new liquor policy that will increase liquor consumption and vending machines in every lane. This was not in the public interest and would lead to corruption. Just as drink intoxicates one, there is also an intoxication of power. You seem to be drowning in the latter,” Hazare wrote to Kejriwal. He went on to say that he was pained by the news reports of the ‘drinking scam’ in Delhi.
The anti-corruption crusader also cited excerpts from the book called ‘Swaraj’, written by Kejriwal before entering politics, in which Kejriwal had written about the ailments of liquor that can destroy families’ lives and cause serious problems. The book also mentioned that no new license to open a liquor store should be given unless the Gram Sabha approves it and 90% of the women attending the Gram Sabha meeting approve the decision. Kejriwal wrote in his book that women by simple majority in a Gram Sabha meeting can also cause the closure of a liquor store in their area.
“But it seems you forgot your philosophy after you got into politics and that’s why you made such a drinking policy for Delhi. During your earlier days, both you and Manish Sisodia had visited my village of Ralegansiddhi in Maharashtra, where we’ve been since 35 years have closed liquor and tobacco shops. You would have praised me on this point,” Hazare wrote.
Hazare further wrote that the new drinking policy in Delhi shows that Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia have violated the ideals of the historic anti-corruption agitation and are now working in line with other political parties in the country, which is “sadly”.
Hazare further said that Kejriwal has forgotten the issue of Lokpal and Lokayukta law after becoming the CM on which he previously delivered major speeches as an anti-corruption activist. “You have made no attempt to make a strong Lokayukta law in the state assembly, but have pursued a disastrous drinking policy that will destroy the lives of many, including women. “This shows that there is a big difference between your words and actions,” Hazare wrote to Kejriwal.
Chief Minister Kejriwal responded to the criticism and stated that the BJP is using Anna Hazare because people don’t believe their drinking scam allegations. “They (BJP) have said there is fraud in the drink policy, but the CBI said there is no scam. The public doesn’t listen to them. “Ab yeh Anna Hazare Ji ke kandhe pe rakh ke bandukh chala rahe hain” (They use Anna Hazare ji as a launch pad for shooting) This is common in politics,” he said.
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