5:15 pm: Former army chief VK Singh not a member of Anna‘s core group for now
Twitter’s abuzz with the fact that General VK Singh was not among the 15 names announced by Hazare.
So Gen VKS is NOT a member of Anna’s new team after all. Anna just announced at a press meet. new team will tour the country from 30th Jan
— nitin gokhale (@nitingokhale) नवम्बर 10, 2012
Hazare said that the former general was just an invitee to the meeting held today and wasn’t a member of the core group that met today. The former general may meet with the group later this evening, but even Hazare wasn’t sure if that would happen.
5:10 pm: No naming dispute for Anna‘s new agitation
Reporters were instantly curious what the name of Hazare’s new agitation would be. As far as the veteran anti-corruption activist is concerned it’s going to remain India Against Corruption.
“In the IAC agitation you saw banners with my photo…there is no dispute. The organisation IAC is ours,” Hazare said.
While Medha Patkar was quick to jump in and say it was not an organisation but an agitation, Hazare was firm that they would hold on to the India Against Corruption name unless Kejriwal’s supporters had a problem.
And no this time they’re not just going to stick to urban centres but will be going to the villages. Gone are the days of the giant, made for television rallies though.
“We will not be concerned about a rally in the Ramlila Maidan. We will go to the villages. We don’t want to just gather crowds, and want to bring about change,” he said.
5:05 pm: ‘No foreign companies should be allowed to enter the country‘
“All foreign companies should be barred from entering the country…If we don’t do this the future generation will be in trouble. The industrialists have money and the government has power so they shoot people to get what they want,” Hazare said.
Nature and destruction of humanity is the biggest nation facing the nation and people need to be educated about this, he said.
More power should also be given to gram sabhas and panchayats and no land acquisition can be done without their permission, Hazare said.
The anti-corruption activist said that eventually 40 more people will join the core group and become 55 people in size.
5:00 pm: Hazare says he will tour nation for one year educating people
Hazare said that he will start his nationwide campaign from 30 November in Bihar and will spend a little over a year travelling across the country to educate them about corruption.
“While taking this agitation forward we will find Dalit leaders and other social leaders and will take their support as well. We will go forward with a humanitarian perspective. It is now time to save the nation,” Hazare said.
4:50 pm: Anna Hazare says he will awaken people, demands Lokpal and boards in government offices
“Apart from two states we have received letters from all states asking to join us…The agitation is nowhere closed to finished but we are seeking to help it grow,” Hazare said.
A group of 13 old members from the original agitation met today in order to decide the future course of action, he said.
The group will also inaugurate a new office tomorrow on the occasion of Dhanteras, he said.
And this time the objectives of the movement are not just eradication of corruption but a transformation, the anti-corruption activist said.
“The government has said that it will bring a Lokpal but we want it to be on the lines of the Lokpal that we have suggested,” he said.
There is no desire for a weak Lokpal, he said. Deja vu anyone?
Right to reject, boards saying how much government officials should work and now allowing important papers to be shuffled from one office to another are among the other demands by the group.
“Before 2014 the government will have to make the Jan Lokpal or will have to leave… We are making a big agitation to take on the government,” Hazare said.
The nationwide agitation will begin on 30 November and he will seek to educate people on what is happening wrong in the nation, he said.
4:45 pm: Kiran Bedi speaks about raising voices again for independence of investigating agencies
“Movement against corruption started with the Commonwealth Games and that is the time a few of us came together,” Kiran Bedi, former IPS police official and member of the original Team Anna, said.
The situation hasn’t changes since then, she said.
“No political party when it came to power gave independence to investigating authorities….India Against Corruption has given our sweat and blood during the last two years,” she said.
“Why the corruption remains is not being addressed,” Bedi said.
According to her, one of the major improvements needed in the system is independent investigating agencies.
“Until the CBI is independent and that can be brought about only through a strong Lokpal…We are hopeful that this movement will give us independent investigating agencies. This movement will not rest till investigating agencies become independent,” she said.
So there’s no change since the Lokpal agitation.
4:30 pm: Medha Patkar says they will tackle corruption and inequality
The new agitation will campaign against the various inequalities that give rise to corruption, said activist Medha Patkar who is a member of the core group of Hazare’s new movement.
“We appeal to all agitations to join us and work together in order to reform the nation…This however has to be done through the democratic route only,” Patkar said.
We don’t only want reforms but a transformation, she said.
4:15 pm: Anna expected to brief the press shortly with new core group
Firstpost’s Danish Raza reports that the anti-corruption crusader is expected to make his announcement shortly on what course of action his group can be expected to follow.
4:00 pm: Anna meets with new core group
Anna Hazare today held the first meeting of his apolitical anti-corruption movement’s Core Committee in New Delhi today in which former Army Chief V K Singh was one of the special invitees.
The activist’s new team will have Kiran Bedi, Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar, Akhil Gogoi and former DG (Prisons of Punjab) Shashi Kant as among the 16-17 members.
Kiran Bedi said this morning that each and every member of the new team has been personally invited by Anna. She also said that this core group will take forward the national movement that began some time back. She also tweeted , “invited members to this morning meeting by Anna will decide what it wants to be identified as!Core group/ or anything else? Hence its open.”
Sources said Hazare will expand the team after the first meeting where he will be having people with whom he had worked earlier. Activists like P V Rajagopal, Rajinder Singh and others will also join the group, they said.
“The movement is an ideology, which is never lost. So, all those in tune with Anna’s ideology are uniting. Whoever is in tune with Anna’s Gandhian ideology will definitely meet,” said veteran social activist Anna Hazare’s close aide Sunita Godara
Bedi said the new team comprises of “old and new” members. The new members include former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari, agriculture expert Viswajeet, Kant and Brigadier (Retd) Brijender Kokhar.
“There will be a Core group, an advisory group,” she said. She said Hegde will not attend the meeting due to his preoccupation but has sent a letter to Hazare informing him about accepting the invitation to the Core Committee.
With inputs from Agencies