Hazare disbands Team Anna, says no more talks with govt
Paving the way for the formation of a political party, Team Anna on Monday disbanded itself and decided not to have any more talks with the government on the Lokpal issue.
The dissolution of Anna Hazare's team came three days after it ended its indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi with plans for formation of a political alternative to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The announcement was made by Hazare in his blog but he did not clearly specify whether they were going to immediately announce the formation of a party though he talked about the procedures for setting up a political alternative.
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Image: Team Anna members Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia
'People asked us to stop fasting and give an alternative'
"The government is not ready to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill.
How long and how many times we will go on fast? Now people have asked us to leave fast and give an alternative. I also thought that the government is not going to curb corruption..."
"We are now stopping the activities of Team Anna today. Team Anna was formed to fight for Jan Lokpal. We have also decided not to have any more talks with the government. From today, there will be no Team Anna or Team Anna Core Committee," Hazare said.
Since April last year, Team Anna has been on streets with Hazare going on indefinite fast four times and one-day fasts also four times besides being part of a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.
Team Anna's decision to enter electoral politics had earlier met with opposition from several core committee members like Justice Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar, Chandramohan and Akhil Gogoi.
Image: A doctor checking on Hazare's health
Photographs: Courtesy India Against Corruption
'Don't get intoxicated by power or money'
"I have given an alternative of sending good people to Parliament. But I am not going to be part of any party nor I will contest elections. After getting Jan Lokpal, I will go back to Maharashtra and indulge in my activities."
"I have told this to those who are for forming a party.
Even after forming the party, this movement should go on. In the movement, we had earlier demanded for Jan Lokpal Bill and now keeping this movement alive, send good people to Parliament with the help of people and ensure that the law is enacted," he said.
Hazare, 74, said he told his associates that they should not be "intoxicated by power or money" once they get into Parliament and should take it as serving the people of the country.
"If you get intoxicated by power and money, what is the difference with other parties? The day I feel that the movement is going after power and money, I will stop myself," he said.
Reminding that the struggle for Jan Lokpal Bill has not ended with its decision not to engage with the government, he said the 2014 elections is the last chance for making the country corruption-free and it will be difficult for people to get another chance after that.
"Now or never. Because people are awakened. If people do not get together, then the damage is not for Anna but for people," he said.
"The government did not bring Jan Lokpal and so now good people from among the citizens should enter Parliament. If we continue to get the support which we were receiving during the past 18 months, good people will be able to enter Parliament," he said.
In the blog, Hazare also detailed the problems in the way ahead in forming a political alternative.
"How to look for good people? To give an alternative, a party has to be formed. How to select members of the party? If goondas, womanisers, corrupt and looters become members, what will be the fate of this movement?" he asked.
The activist also wondered how will they get funds for providing alternative when Rs 10-15 crore is spend for each constituency. "After getting elected, if these people get corrupt what will happen to the alternative?...What will be the monitoring system to keep a check on those people?
"At Jantar Mantar, the team asked people whether they are for a political alternative. Majority said yes. But Jantar Mantar is not the whole country. The country is big. It is necessary to take the opinion of people," Hazare said.
He said he will tour the country in the next 18 months, asking people to search for "clean and honest" candidates.
"After getting the names, our functionaries will go and investigate about them and then there will be selection," he said, claiming that he had done this in Maharashtra where eight of the 12 people who were fielded for Assembly elections won.
Image: Anna Hazare