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Those opposing move to join politics are small in number, says Kejriwal

PTI 20 Sep 2012, 13:45:44 IST
New Delhi, Aug 8: Under fire from a section of erstwhile Team Anna members for deciding to join politics, activist Arvind Kejriwal has said there could not be 100 per cent unanimity on any decision and “very dear” friends who are opposed to it are “small in number”.

In a letter to volunteers of India Against Corruption, he said there have been “mixed reactions” at the end of the ‘indefinite' fast at Jantar Mantar here as the team decided to form a political alternative to achieve the goal of the movement.

Claiming that 90 per cent of people surveyed have sought a political alternative from Anna Hazare, he said, “But a few of our friends who are very dear to us and who have put their mind, body and soul into this movement for the past two years are feeling hurt.”

Maintaining that they were “small in number”, he said they have sent emails and text messages to him. “Their blame is that the movement has been sold. There cannot be 100 per cent unanimity on any decision,” Kejriwal wrote.

The annoucement by Hazare and his team to enter electoral politics had met with opposition from team members like Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar and Akhil Gogoi, who have warned them against taking the political plunge.

Defending the decision, Kejriwal said, “If we were to disregard the public opinion, we would be called stubborn, insensitive to people's feelings and branded as undemocratic.

Now, when we submit to the will of a huge majority of people, we are blamed of bad intent from the outset.

“Present day politics is a quagmire. We do not take pleasure in this quagmire. In the next two years, if the government enacts Jan Lokpal, law to ‘Swaraj', right to reject and right to recall laws we will exit politics straightaway,” he said.

In Meerut, unhappy with Team Anna's decision to enter electoral politics, a supporter has filed a case of cheating against member Arvind Kejriwal for not keeping his promise to stay away from the political fray.

Harishwar, a teacher at a Meerut college, filed the case yesterday at an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's court, against Kejriwal for misleading supporters to believe that Team Anna will keep its distance from mainstream politics.

“I had joined the cause believing it is apolitical, however, the recent announcement by Team Anna to join politics has deeply hurt me. This is a clear case of cheating,” Harishwar said today.

The court will hear the witnesses on August 14.  Hazare and his aides had called off their indefinite fast on August 3 and pitched for entering electoral politics by forming a political alternative.