New Delhi: Anna Hazare's prescription to flog drunkards to curb alcoholism invited sharp reactions from politicians and activists on Wednesday.

Terming Anna's remedy as reminiscent of the Taliban, Samajwadi Party leader Mohan Singh said: "While he wears a Gandhi cap, Hazare's thoughts are akin to that of Taliban."

"This statement has dented his image," he added.

Criticising the anti-graft campaigner for the comment, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Nilotpal Basu said: "There is no need for self-appointed guardians in our society."

While agreeing that Anna's cause was right, social activist Ranjana Kumari said his ways "are not acceptable".

"Flogging people is taking law in your hand, you can't do that," she said.

Anna recently told a TV channel that drunkards should be flogged so they drop the habit.

His encouraging women in his native village Ralegan-Siddhi to flog the errant menfolk reportedly "cured" the place first of liquor and then gutka and paan.