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Rediff.com  » News » Politics is a quagmire, but people want us in it: Kejriwal

Politics is a quagmire, but people want us in it: Kejriwal

Last updated on: August 8, 2012 17:16 IST

Politics is a quagmire, but people want us in it: Kejriwal

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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 in New Delhi 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.

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'If we were to disregard the public opinion, we would be called stubborn'

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The announcement 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.

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'Till today the movement was on the streets, from now on we will fight in Parliament'

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Kejriwal said one may disagree with the decision but the intent of those taking the decision was "never bad". He said providing a political alternative did not mean that the movement would end.

"It means that we are expanding the movement and making it bigger. Till today the movement was on the streets, from now on we will fight on the streets as well as in Parliament," he said.

He said the team started the fast honestly and "if it was all pre-planned, if my will power was weak, if I lacked courage, or did not have the will to sacrifice, the easier route was to end it all in two days on the pretext of doctor's advice".

The people at Jantar Mantar were demanding a political alternative and a similar appeal was being made to Hazare from other parts of the country, he said.

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'People were losing faith on the method of taking to street'

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"The energy level and anger visible in August last year was missing in other places across India. Why did this happen? After speaking to people across the country, we found out that people had stopped believing that coming out on the streets was the only solution.

"People concluded that howsoever long we fast, the government will neither give SIT (to probe allegations made by the team against Union ministers) nor Lokpal. At the same time, people had faith in the leadership of the movement.

"They were losing faith on the method of taking to street and fast in order to achieve our goals. For this reason, people were not taking holidays to take to the streets. They needed renewed hope," he said.



Tags: SIT , Union , India

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