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Anna had strong reservations about floating political party

PTI 22 Sep 2012, 13:32:06 IST
New Delhi, Aug 11:  Gandhian Anna Hazare had strong reservations about Team Anna's move to float a political party, and on August 3, had advised the team to first read Mahatma Gandhi's speech on 1940 titled 'Aap abhi taiyyar nahin hai" (You are not ready yet), reports The Indian Express.

The report quoting sources close to Anna Hazare said that while the anti-corruption activist was convinced that Team Anna's ‘fasts' were not producing results and that there was a need to consider a political alternative, he was opposed to immediately converting the movement into a political party.  

According to the report, Hazare felt that the movement was not ready for the shift and circulated the Hindi transliteration of Gandhi's speech among the core committee members present at Jantar Mantar.  

In the speech, made at the 53rd AICC session  in Ramgarh, Gandhi had sought to resist pressure from within the Congress and the people to launch a fresh civil disobedience movement to force the British to leave India.  

Gandhi had argued that his countrymen were not ready to make a success of such a campaign. Although Hazare took a similar line, he was unable to convince his core committee, the IE report says.

“The government's indifference to the agitation had convinced Annaji that it was now time to give a political alternative to the people,” said Sunita Godara, a member of IAC's core committee since its inception.  

“But he also felt that the team was not prepared at all for the same.  

"He felt that before making any such announcement it was important that activists met people in every village and town and worked with them to identify their issues, recognized their pulse and most importantly, form a cadre in each village and city before they made such an announcement."

“There were issues and questions about how funds would be raised to fight election and how candidates will be identified. He felt that we were not prepared. To convey this he used this speech by Gandhiji,” Godara added.

The report quoted other sources close to Hazare to say that Anna was even averse to considering a political option and forming a party considering he has spent a better part of his life fighting politicians and criticizing political parties.  

“Instead, he was of the opinion that they should find clean candidates and support them in elections.  

"When his views didn't find full acceptance and a decision to form a political party was taken, Annaji made sure that his name will not be used to promote this political party. That's the reason he took the decision to dissolve Team Anna almost unilaterally,” said another core committee member.  

Allauddin Sheikh, state secretary of Hazare's Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan, said he was confident Hazare would not ask them to join any political party.

 “At the most he will tell us to support candidates with good character and a clean past,” said Sheikh.