PUNE: Social crusader Anna Hazare on Wednesday said that his opposition to the Congress did not mean that he was supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) or any other party. "My stand is not influenced by political motive. I am not biased when it comes to extending support to any political party either in power or in the opposition," he said in his blog from Ralegan Siddhi.

"Before casting their votes, people should keep in mind the candidate's character and his contribution to society," Hazare said. "People should vote such candidates who always think of the society at large and of well-being of the country. Only such people are capable of being elected to maintain the purity of our democracy. They could belong to the ruling party or to the opposition." Hazare said that the ruling party and the opposition fight among themselves, rake up issues and create controversies. "This is done to mislead the common man. When a favourable opportunity for corruption arises, they join hands again," he said.

Hazare stuck to his decision to oppose the Congress in forthcoming elections. "I will issue an appeal to the people not to cast their votes for the Congress in the coming legislative assembly elections to be held in five states, along with Uttar Pradesh, if the government does not pass the Jan Lokpal bill in the Parliament's winter session," he said.

The crusader said that the Congress has been in power most of the time in independent India. "After attaining independence, our country should have transformed into a 'surajya'(welfare state). There should have been development instead of exploitation of nature and human beings... Corruption has crossed all limits. Even a meagre 10 paise of the one rupee spent on development does not reach the common man," he said.

He went on to blame the Congress for not taking the initiative in getting strict anti-corruption laws passed. "The present laws are not implemented effectively. This became clear when the Jan Lokpal bill was not passed earlier. That is the reason I went on a fast and now I am being forced to take a stand on elections," he said.

Hazare said the demand to pass the Jan Lokpal bill has been voiced in Parliament over the last 42 years. "No political party has ever shown their (true) support and neither are they interested in creating a corruption-free India. The ruling Congress is ever so responsible for this state of affairs. As corruption levels rise, our country is left with a staggering amount of debt. Inflation is on the rise, unemployment and economic disparity has intensified and development has come to a halt. If the Congress is unwilling to take strong steps to change the situation and unwilling to pass anti-corruption laws, the people should not cast their votes for the party. I will wait and watch if the Jan Lokpal Bill is being passed in this winter session. Till then I will maintain my silence. I will give the government - that is the Congress - an opportunity to take action or else I will tour the country raising a storm," he said.
source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com