Chief ministers Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar were today praised by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare for their efforts on rural development, with the Gandhian saying that their counterparts in other states should emulate them.
"The way the chief ministers of Gujarat and Bihar have worked in their states, this should be adopted by other chief ministers. The chief ministers of other states should also work like this," 73-year-old Hazare, who successfully led the agitation on Lokpal Bill issue, said.
At the same time, Hazare maintained that he is not viewing it from any partisan angle but only highlighting that the focus of development works should be from the grassroot level.
When a reporter referred to the 2002 riots in Gujarat when Modi was in power, the Gandhian said that he was only talking about the work of a chief minister and does not want to go into politics.
"I do not support communal politics, riots or any such thing. I am only talking about decentralisation of power," Hazare said.
When pointed out that Modi has not appointed a Lokayukta for the past nine years in Gujarat, he said, "I will accept Modi as 100% ideal when he brings Lokayukta in his state."
Congress MP Rashid Alvi reacted sharply to Hazare's comments saying "no secular person in the country can support Modi.
"If you support Modi, you are supporting the massacre of 2002," he said,
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, however, praised Hazare for appreciating the work done in the party-ruled state.
"These are NDA-ruled states. Concrete steps are being taken there against corruption. This is good that he cited both the states as examples.
"There are many other NDA-ruled states where good work is being done against corruption. We appreciate that he has praised us," he said.
At the press conference, Hazare also denied any "personal" animosity with agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
"There is no rift with Pawar. Six ministers had to go on corruption charges. Why only name Pawar. My fight is against the trend and not against one Pawar. It is the deed not the person that I object to and fight against," he said.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal dismissed suggestions that Hazare had invited Pawar to be part of his agitation for Lokpal Bill saying the "question does not arise".