Two days after calling off their fast, Anna Hazare and his team had their first meeting on Sunday to spell out the contours of the political alternative they proposed to give the country. However, the team was still undecided on joining yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s protest against black money here on August 9.
The name, constitution and objective of the political party were possibly on the agenda, though there was no official word on it.
Team Anna is yet to announce whether it would participate in the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh or whether it would take a direct plunge in the 2014 Parliament elections.
The core committee is likely to have discussed Team Anna’s pan-India tour for garnering support for the proposed political alternative as well.
On the issue of participation in Ramdev’s agitation, Kejriwal said: “We have not received any invite and when it comes, we will see.”
The meeting was attended by Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh. Yogendra Yadav, the political scientist who has frequented the protest venue of India Against Corruption, also attended.
Meanwhile, Hazare asked gram panchayats to lend support to the “political alternative” by pledging votes to its candidates.
Calling the task daunting, but not impossible, Hazare wrote in his blog: “You need lots of money to fight election these days. Where will the money come from, if one wants to provide an alternative by fighting elections? All the six lakh gram sabhas in the country should pass a resolution that they will support the alternative and will vote for the party, which will provide for this alternative.... if such a resolution is passed, then we will be able to provide that alternative.”
Banking on the votes from youth, Hazare said gram sabhas should also promote mass voting. “The gram sabhas should pass a resolution committing that more than 90 per cent of its voters will exercise their franchise,” he wrote in the blog ‘Anna Hazare Says’.
The 75-year-old anti-corruption crusader reiterated that he would neither join a political party, nor contest elections.
“I want to emphasise that I will not contest election... I will tour the country to awaken people and ensure that good people go to Parliament. I think that people will welcome the alternative as they are suffering due to corruption,” he said.
Hazare alleged that those in the government have been intoxicated by power and money and they would not provide corruption-free governance.
The road ahead would not be easy as some of the Team Anna members, including former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, are against the formation of a political party.