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India will change if Mamata Banerjee is at its helm, says Anna Hazare

New Delhi: After an hour-long dinner meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the national capital, social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday praised her for leading a simple life and said he believed the country will change if she is at the helm of affairs.


Social activist Anna Hazare. File pic

"Today I believe there can be change in the country. People also want change. That time is coming," Hazare said after the talks at the residence of Trinamool Congress national general secretary Mukul Roy.

Refering to Trinamool chairperson Banerjee as "didi" (elder sister, as she is affectionately called), Hazare said: "All her life, she has lived simply, eaten simple food, she has neither a house nor a car. So long we did not have any leader like her. Now we have found (one)."

Hazare said Banerjee has accepted all the 17 points he had suggested in a letter spelling out pro-people policies. In the missive, Hazare had asked the Bengal chief minister about her stand on implementing the policies if she came to power.

Banerjee was the only leader to reply to Hazare's letter, sent to all political parties.

Banerjee touched  Hazare's feet to pay her respects after the 76-year-old anti-corruption crusader was escorted by Roy from Maharashtra Sadan to his residence for the meeting.

Hazare did not give details of the discussions, but said he would make things clear at a media conference Wednesday.

Earlier in Kolkata, Banerjee avoided a direct reply to a query on whether Hazare would campaign for her party in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

"Let me meet him first. Then I will let you know the details," she said.

Banerjee said Hazare was a "respected" person, and she was happy to meet him.

"He wanted to meet me when Mukul Roy called on him recently. I have never met him. This is the first time I am meeting him. I will be happy to meet him," she said.

Roy and Trinamool Rajya Sabha member K.D. Singh visited Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra on Saturday last to hold preliminary discussions with Hazare and set up a face-to-face between him and Banerjee.

Hazare has been praising Banerjee ever since she replied to his letter containing the 17-poitn suggestions.

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