Ex-Army chief Gen V K Singh offers coconut water to Anna Hazare to end the latter’s fast at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Friday
Left with no option after the government did not make any effort to talk to them, Team Anna on Friday ended its 10-day agitation at Jantar Mantar. Key Team Anna members and the social activist broke their fast by accepting juice from former Army General V K Singh.
Indicating steps towards forming a political party, Team Anna on Friday announced launching of a “movement” and putting up candidates in the 2014 elections. “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,” Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said. He was addressing supporters of Anna Hazare at their fast venue of Jantar Mantar before they ended the protest. However, Anna Hazare said he will neither launch a political party nor contest elections.
“I will go around the country for the next two years. We have another two years left (for the elections) and I will awaken the people,” he said. Justifying formation of a political outfit, Hazare said that earlier when they started the movement political parties taunted them saying you contest elections and come to Parliament.
“Now when we announce that we are taking the political plunge the same parties are feeling threatened,” he said. Hazare said he was encouraged by the fact that people like Gen V K Singh have extended support to the civil society movement. In his speech, Kejriwal said they would not go for the “movement” if the Congress passed Lokpal Bill, provide for ’right to recall’ and ‘right to reject’ in the next two and half years.
“We are not here for power. We want Lokpal Bill to be passed. If all these are implemented, we will take back our decision,” he said. Kejriwal said the aim of the movement was not to capture power but to ensure its decentralisation. Speaking on the occasion, Gen. Singh said the agitation was for “saving the country from corruption as there is no other way.”
“I thank Anna Hazare and others for heeding to our appeal and ending the fast. Other than corruption, the issues which are concerning the nation are black money, law and order, weakening rupee and inflation. There is no governance and it has become directionless,” he said.
They’re Hardcore politicians: Sibal
Accusing Team Anna members of playing with the sentiments of the common man, Union HRD Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal alleged that the move was pre-meditated.
“They adopted many ways so that they can reach this point of joining politics, which was always their ultimate goal. These people are hardcore politicians. They play their cards very well,” said Sibal.
Agnivesh ridicules Team Anna
Social activist Agnivesh on Friday took potshots at Team Anna over its decision to focus on political plans, saying they broke the sanctity of ‘anshan’ as a method of protest. “They ran away...I am pained that Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and others have broken the sanctity of 'Anshan' (fast) as a method of protest. Anshan is always the last option," Agnivesh said. "They have hurt the dignity of the fast that was introduced by Mahatma Gandhi. They should apologise to the nation ," he added.
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