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Political parties don’t remember promises but people do: Anna Hazare

Mumbai: Failure to fulfil promises made to people led to the defeat of the BJP in three Hindi-speaking states, social activist Anna Hazare said.

The government may have forgotten its promises but people have not, the veteran anti-corruption crusader said and added those in power at the centre should heed voters’ warnings ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Hazare said the BJP had to face defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan assembly polls due to false assurances given by it to people.

Assurances were given to people that black money will be brought back, farmers will get a good price for their produce, power will be decentralised and people will get Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts, Hazare said.

However, none of these promises was fulfilled, he said.

“It is not clear if they even remember the promises they made, but people do remember. That is why people understood they were false assurances to come to power,”

Hazare told a TV news channel when asked about the results of the just-held assembly polls. “People have given the indication to those in power to be careful or they would be taught a lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019,” the social activist said.

He said the November 2016 demonetisation drive was a misstep and failed to achieve its stated objective of curbing black money.

In a democracy, important decisions should be taken after thorough discussion and brining on-board the opposition, Hazare said.

“However, here, demonetisation was done according to their whims. People faced hardships. How much black money has come out? The RBI said 99 per cent of (scrapped) money returned to banks. Where is the black money then?” he asked.

Asked if Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s name changing spree was one of the factors that led to the BJP’s dismal poll performance, he said Lord Ram is not present in temples alone but inside every poor man.

“Why are you only searching Him there (in temples)? Service of the poor is his worship. This is what Ram taught us.”

Hazare said there are already countless statues of Lord Ram in the world and what is needed is to imbibe his teachings.

“However, these people have no training in doing seva of people. The country cannot be served while sitting at the top. The country is in villages. Serving villages is serving the nation,” he said.

Asked about his plan to launch a fresh stir against the government from January 30 over the Lokpal issue, Hazare said the present dispensation is “cheating” people and has not yet appointed the anti-corruption ombudsman at the Centre.