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Team Anna wants 'new, apt' people in power in 2014 polls

July 31, 2012 19:38 IST
Team Anna on Tuesday appeared set to oppose the United Progressive Alliance in the next Lok Sabha elections saying its mission is to ensure that "new and apt people" come to power in the 2014 polls. It also attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party alleging that it supported the team earlier with a political motive.

The posturing came on a day when Anna Hazare regretted the attack on the media by his supporters last night and warned that he will call off his fast if they again indulge in violence.

Even as the 74-year-old activist's fast entered the third day and the health condition of two of his aides worsened after fasting for seven days, there were no signs of government initiating a dialogue with Team Anna to end the crisis.

Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan alleged that the government wanted people like Hazare to die so that they can continue to "loot the country".

The government, on its part, said the Prime Minister's Office has written two letters to Hazare under the advise of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "What is stated in the letter is the government's position to the best of my knowledge," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.

The day also saw doctors advising Arvind Kejriwal and Gopal Rai, who is fasting for the past seven days, to get hospitalised as their health condition worsened, a request rejected by both as they were "not cowards who will give up because of health concerns".

"I am warning the government not to try to arrest us and force us to go to hospital," Kejriwal said.

Political statements from the dais came from Kiran Bedi and Kumar Vishwas, with one taking on the UPA in a veiled manner and the other attacking the BJP in the open.

"This mission will not stop till the 2014 elections, till the time new and apt people come in power. We have to go till end, which is 2014 when people with Anna's blessings will come to power. Till then, our responsibility is to spread these words," Bedi said.

Referring to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari's reported comments that Team Anna should not target the system in general, Vishwas said, "They supported our movement earlier but not now. I just want to say you were there in support because you had your own political motives. His party was with us because they thought it will help them win elections in five states."

Bhushan targeted the government for not initiating a dialogue with Team Anna to resolve the crisis.

"The government on Tuesday said they were not ready to talk to us. This is their attitude. They have utmost disrespect for people. They want people like Anna, Arvind, Manish and others to die so that they can continue their loot," Bhushan said.

The Monday night attack was the highlight of morning's proceedings with Hazare expressing sadness and Kejriwal apologising for the incident.

Though Kejriwal apologised for the misbehaviour with the media, he sought to blame the media house owners saying they have to decide whether they are with the country or with corrupt people.

Before Hazare and his close aides took the dais on Monday night, some supporters shouted slogans against the media. A scuffle broke out between Team Anna supporters and media persons at Jantar Mantar where Hazare is on an indefinite fast.
Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan's allegation that the media was not projecting the protest in the right light allegedly led to the brawl.

Regretting the attack on media, Hazare told his supporters on Monday morning that he "felt sad" after hearing about the attack on the media accusing them of not giving proper coverage to the indefinite fast on corruption issues. "If you indulge in violence, remember that the government can crush us in two days. They have the strength and laws to do that. In future if these things happen again, at that moment I will call off this agitation. I don't approve of this. Let media do their work. Don't bother about what they do," he said.

Another Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said they were ashamed of what happened on Monday. "Our fight is not with the media," he said.

Vishwas said though they were apologetic for what happened on Monday, the media also needed to answer certain questions. "They also need to answer these questions for using words like flop show for the movement. This is no film or an entertainment based programme which has to be rated between hit and flop," he said.



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