Ten days after he parted ways with Arvind Kejriwal citing he was not in favour of the anti- graft movement taking a political plunge, Anna Hazare today said that he would campaign for Kejriwal if he chose to contest Delhi assembly polls in 2013, though he could not say the same for other candidates fielded by Kejriwal’s party.
Anna‘s comments came even as Kejriwal and Sisodia paid him a surprise visit while he was meeting with a group of ex-bureaucrats and army officers to discuss the future of his anti-graft movement. The duo spent 20 minutes with Hazare, in their first meeting with him following their much publicised 19 September split.
But even though his relationship towards Kejriwal seemed to have taken a turn for the better, Anna still stood firmly by his assertion that there was no possibility of him going back to Kejriwal’s group, referring to the latter’s view that he would win back Hazare in 4-5 months.
Hazare also rejected a statement by Kejriwal that it was he who had mooted the idea of political party. “This is wrong. I never said it. If that was the case, we would have parted ways at that point,” said Hazare.
Anna met more than 40 people including two former DGPs of Punjab, Kerala, a former Chief Justice of the Kolkata High Court, and retired army officers. Members of the erstwhile Team Anna were represented in the meeting by way of Kiran Bedi attended today’s meeting which lasted for six hours. He had also met with a group of volunteers on Sunday.
Hazare said that he was not in a hurry to go ahead with the movement and would have at least two more such meetings to interact with people who are willing to join the movement. “We have received hundreds of applications from volunteers. We will screen these applications through interviews. Selected candidates will then go through a short training session.”
When asked about his secret meeting with Baba Ramedev on September late evening which gave rise to speculations that saffron forces were behind the split, Hazare said, “Ramdev expressed the desire to tour the country with me. I did not give any assurance. I will do it only if I am convinced that he is not backed by any political party”.