Hazare aide dismisses links to RSS

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare's aide Kumar Vishwas on Monday dismissed claims that Hazare was linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). "It has now become a consistent norm that if anyone campaigns against corruption in rural areas, a certain ideology terms them as ''Maoists'', and if the campaign against corruption is in urban areas, they must be working with the RSS, or the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)," Vishwas told the media here.

Vishwas also refuted claims that Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were controlling the movement led by Hazare. "No decision is taken by Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi alone; we make all our decisions at the core committee meeting," he said.

Kumar Vishwas's comments came after some long-time aides asked Hazare to re-evaluate his partnership with the India Against Corruption (IAC) group, which they say is a front for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu radical group.

Ashok Sabban, Vice President of the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan Nyas (BVJAN), who has been with Hazare for 20 years, made these claims earlier and stated Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were controlling the movement.

Sabban also criticised the IAC for targeting the ruling Congress Party as the only corrupt political party, adding that the attack had hurt the credibility of Hazare''s campaign. Kumar Vishwas in response said the Congress Party had failed to take the responsibility for passing the Lokpal Bill and introducing a weak draft of the anti-graft legislation in Parliament.

"It is wrong to presume that we are campaigning against the Congress Party. The Congress Party is in power and the whole country is demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, but the Congress deferred the Lokpal Bill and also introduced a weak bill in the Parliament. But we are not specifically targeting them," said Vishwas.

Anna Hazare was discharged from Pune''s Sancheti Hospital on Sunday after recovering from a chest infection and bronchitis. Hazare was admitted to the hospital on December 31 after he suffered chest infection and weakness.

Hazare was earlier forced to cut short his hunger strike after a team of specialists advised him to start eating again on the second day of his fast, citing low blood pressure, weakness and threat to his kidneys.

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