After calling off their fast at Jantar Mantar in order to offer people a political alternative, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare today announced that ‘Team Anna‘, which consisted of other activists, would no longer exist and would no longer negotiate with the government.
In a post on his blog, Hazare wrote, “Today we have ended the work done by Team Anna. Team Anna was brought about in order to press for the creation of the Jan Lokpal. We have decided not to maintain any relations with the government. Because of this, from today all the tasks done under the name of Team Anna have ended and from now the Team Anna committee ceases to exist.”
The post comes a day after the group, consisting of anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, former IPS official Kiran Bedi, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and other members of Team Anna met with Hazare yesterday; reportedly to discuss the future of their political plans.
Hazare, who broke his five day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on 3 August, had announced that he would not participate in the plans to form a political party and would instead support and watch over it from outside. Team Anna had also sought suggestions from the public on how they should choose candidates, obtain funding and what they should name the party.
In his blog post, Hazare said that while offering a political alternative to people, he had placed the various problems of forming a political party before them and was seeking their answers on possible solutions.
“If this is done (the political alternative is achieved) then I will travel the country for the next one and a half years and will awaken the nation’s people. I will appeal to people to choose candidates with ideal characteristics to be sent to the Lok Sabha,” he wrote.
Pointing out that they had sought the creation of a Lokpal multiple times without any result, Hazare wrote that the struggle for the creation of a Jan Lokpal was not over.
Hazare said it was the stubbornness by the government not to create a Lokpal that had resulted in them deciding to take the political route and once the people voted ideal candidates to power, laws like the Jan Lokpal, Right to Reject and Right to Recall in elections and greater power would be given to gram panchayats.
The anti-corruption activist also said the 2014 elections were the final chance for people to eradicate corruption from India.
“The 2014 elections is the final opportunity for people to make the country corruption free. After this election to get such an opportunity is difficult because the nation is presently awakened. If not now then never,” Hazare wrote, adding that if people failed to do so then it would be their loss and not his.
Hazare reiterated that he would not contest the elections or be a part of the political party to be formed but would return to Maharashtra to continue his work there once the Lokpal was created.
“The day I see that our candidates are not concerned about working for the nation’s people and are only worried about money and politics, that day I will stop (asking for the creation of Lokpal),” he said.
Saying that he has always been a ‘zero’ without wealth, Hazare wrote that he was unaffected by the criticism from anyone.
“At least five books have been written in the last 25 years to defame me and many editorials have been written against me. However, the fakir’s tendencies within me haven’t reduced,” he wrote.
To understand the happiness he derived from it, those who had criticised him would have to adopt an ascetic lifestyle like him, the anti-corruption activist wrote.