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Team Anna to end fast on Friday, gives call for new political alternative

India TV News Desk 19 Sep 2012, 13:21:47 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi, Aug 2: On the ninth day of the indefinite fast by Team Anna, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal today announced to their supporters that they intend to float a new political alternative to contest elections.

Team Anna later announced it will call off its fast tomorrow at 5 pm. This would be done after a 'referendum' through SMS will be complete by asking people to vote in favour or against a new political alternative.

Anna Hazare clearly said  he would not be part of any political party, but would lend full support to the new poltiical alternative.

Addressing a sizeable Raksha Bandhan holiday crowd of supporters at Jantar Mantar, Anna Hazare called for  sending MPs of impeccable "character" to the Lok Sabha through a new political alternative.

Hazare said, he and his associates would be looking for "seva-bhaavi"(people devoted to service) and "rashtra-premi" (nation-loving) candidates to fight Lok Sabha elections.

Hazare however said, the present Constitutional system was flawed, with power being centred in Delhi and state capitals.

He called for decentralisation of power, with power remaining with gram sabhas (village councils).

"I am now sure that the government has no intention to bring a real Lokpal bill so the only alternative left is changing the system through a political alternative. I am all for it", said Hazare.

Hazare said, the new political alternative should opt for candidates who are "dharma-nirpeksha"(secular).

Moreover, he said, this nation needs an honest leadership.

"Nowadays, political workers say, our leader drinks brandy, why can't I drink country (liquor). We have to shun such leaders, Then only, a true alternative will emerge", said Hazare.

The social activist also called for putting an end to all archaic laws framed during the British rule.

"The gram sabhas should be given power to decide whether to allow exploitation of land and mineral resources. We can't allow  exploitation of nature and humans. Gandhiji used to say this will not lead to development (vikas), but destruction (vinaash). It's then only that the problems of workers and farmers will be resolved".

Soon after Hazare finished, Arvind Kejriwal rose up to tell the supporters that Team Anna was seeking a referendum through SMS from the people about a political alternative. Alredy some news channels have begun the SMS voting, he said.

"Speaking about a political alternative is easy, but very difficult to translate into reality. One should remember Jaya Prakash  Narayan, who brought about a political alternative, but Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh were the outcomes of that very alternative", said Kejriwal, amidst cheers from supporters.

Kejriwal said, it's easy to talk about "charitravan" (good character) candidates, but asked how they would be selected.  We should be careful that people with dubious character do not get entry, he added.

Kejriwal said, this agitation was not for change in power, but for change in system.