New Delhi, Apr 13: Responding to the calls for retraction of praise for Narendra Modi, social activist Anna Hazare in a reply to the letter written by Mallika Sarabhai reiterated that he is "totally apolitical and strongly against communalism".
While he has not retracted his statements, he has insisted he said what he did in reply to a question about development work in Bihar and Gujarat. "Based on media reports, I said Bihar and Gujarat have done good work in rural development. At the same time, I condemn the 2002 riots and communalism," his letter to Sarabhai dated April 12, 2011 said.
"I am with no party, I stand for no party. I am totally apolitical and focus on rooting out corruption in my life. This is a long struggle and I trust people like you who have fought for people's rights will understand the spirit of this movement," he says.
Hazare also released a statement to the media to "clarify one of my statements which has been misinterpreted".
"On a question asked in the press conference, I praised only the developmental work done by Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar. Alongside I clarified that I am equally opposed to any form of communal disharmony. I am completely opposed to any kind of communalism or discrimination on religious or caste lines. I strongly condemn and oppose any kind of communal violence.
People from all faiths and religions are founders, supporters and participants in this movement. This includes, Archbishop of Delhi, Mufti Shamoon Qasmi and others. I strongly believe in Gandhian values and principles of communal harmony," he has said in his statement.