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Hazare against movement taking a political turn

Last updated on: September 18, 2012 23:27 IST

Activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday made it clear that he does not support the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge and told his aide Arvind Kejriwal that he cannot expect support for all his candidates.

Hazare's remarks came during his address to a group of supporters, who are opposed to the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge. He is holding a meeting with activists on Wednesday on the issue.

"I had told Arvind (during the Jantar Mantar agitation) that if you want to form a party, you go ahead but I will not be part of that. It is not as if they have 1,000 candidates, I will support all of them. That will not happen," he told the gathering.

This is the third time in a week that Hazare has openly disagreed with the formation of a party, first in a video post and then through a blog on Sunday.

The movement has come a full circle since its inception in April last year -- when Hazare struck a chord with the common man's angst against corruption -- but it started losing steam after December due to its political ambitions.

"If they want to launch a party, let them do it. We will not go with them. It is not our way. Many people have told me that they want to fight polls. I have told them that if you want to fight elections, you go and fight. I am not with you in this," he said in an apparent reference to Kejriwal's team, which published survey results claiming overwhelming support for the formation of a party.

Expressing doubts about the movement changing colours, he invoked Jai Prakash Narain's movement and wondered how the leader would have known that the movement will produce a "leader like Lalu Prasad".

"JP had led a tremendous movement. How could he have known that the same movement will produce a leader like Lalu Prasad? What is the guarantee that we will not have such a person," Hazare said.

Explaining his stand against fighting elections, he said his appeal was that they should not fight elections.

"Whoever wants to fight elections, let them. Yes, the destination is the same but our paths are different. We will not go with those who want to fight elections. Whoever wants to fight elections, let them. We don't bother about it," he said.

He told the gathering that those who do not want to fight elections will have to organise a major movement now, which should be bigger than the agitation in Ramlila Maidan last year.

"We don't have to fight elections. We have to organise a big movement now. The challenges are big for those who do not want to fight elections. We will have to organise a big movement, which will be bigger than the August 16 movement," he said.

Hazare said when the issue of forming a party came up during last August's agitation, he flagged issues about how to select members and candidates for the party.

He said he had taken a vow at the age of 26 to live for the country and die for the country.

"I have also taken a vow that I will not form a party or contest elections," he said.

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