"It is unfortunate that a man like him who is so experienced, is speaking in favour of propagating violence. He should not call himself Gandhian because these views are not in line with Mahatma Gandhi's ideology. It is unfortunate that he is supporting violence," party spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said.
She was reacting to Hazare's remarks that a person is left with no option but to slap when his power of tolerance of corruption runs out. Talking to reporters in his native village Ralegaon Siddhi last night, Hazare said, "when a man's power of tolerance runs out, then whoever is in front of you, if a slap is given, then the brain is put back in place. That is the only road open now".
Hazare made the remarks after watching the Hindi film 'Gali Gali Chor Hai' based on the common man's fight against corruption. On November 24 last year, Hazare had sparked a row by appearing to approve of the slapping of Union Minister Sharad Pawar by a youth in Delhi. He had, however, later condemned the attack on Pawar.
Condemning Hazare's remarks, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said his respect for Hazare has "gone down" after this statement. "I had always believed him (Hazare) to be a Gandhian, a practitioner of non-violence. But with the kind of violent streak he is showcasing, my respect for him has declined. I condemn the statement," Singh said.
Union Minister Sachin Pilot also found Hazare's remarks "contrary to the essence of our culture".
Pilot said that suggesting slapping or hurling shoes and slippers are "anti-Indian" and should be condemned. Digvijay Singh said Hazare has been "associated with Sangh" for quite a while and this is now showing. "After all Sangh and BJP uses the means of violence for its propaganda," he said.
Azam Khan, a senior leader of the Samajwadi Party also condemned Hazare over the remarks saying "Anna ji and his team are enemies of democracy. They are spreading anarchy...".