Armed with a referendum, anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare and his Team finally decided to float a political party and asserted that the move was not to capture power but for “changing the nature of state power”.
The move was welcomed by the political parties, albeit with a smirk and questions like who will be contesting elections for them, who will fund their elections and so on. The ruling Congress party termed the move as “face-saver”.
Hazare and other three fasting members - Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai - called off their fast, after declaring that the impassive government forced them to provide this political alternative. There have been dissenting voices like the former member of Team Anna Justice Santosh Hegde who doubted the decision.
However, there were also heavyweights like former Army Chief General V K Singh who came out in support of the Team Anna’s political plunge. In fact, it was General Singh who gave a glass of coconut water to Hazare to break his fast.
“The government stonewalled our demands and showed little interest in bringing those guilty of big scams to book. This is what brings us to this next step in our struggle.
“We asked you whether this (forming a political party) proposal is something we should pursue. Your answer was an instant and unequivocal ‘Yes’,” Kejriwal said.
“This is not a party. It will be a movement from the street to Parliament. There will be no high command. People will decide the candidates and they will fund it,” added Kejriwal, who ended his fast on the 10th day.
Justifying formation of the political outfit, Hazare said that the political parties have been asking them to contest elections and fight them out in the Parliament.
“Now when we announce that we are taking the political plunge the same parties are feeling threatened,” he said.
However, he added that he will neither join any political party nor contest elections. “I will go around the country for the next two years.
“We have another two years left for the general elections and I will awaken the people,” the 75-year-old added. More: P10, 11