New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal says he is confident of winning back Anna Hazare in the months to come. "No one can take him away from us. It is just that while he believes that getting in to politics is a dirty thing, we are of the view that we have to enter it (politics) to clean it," he said during an IAC demonstration at Jantar Mantar against the hike in power tariffs in the national capital.
The demonstration was Kejriwal's first public event after his group's much publicised split with Anna Hazare.
Around 300 people gathered at the venue where Kejriwal, Manish Sidodia, Prashant Bhushan and Gopal Rai listened to people's grievances over spiralling power tariffs.
Speaking at the protest, Kejriwal said the Prime Minister was a liar whose aim was not to reform but 'deform' the people of the nation. Kejriwal also asked people to take part in a civil disobedience movement against the Shiela Dikshit government. "Let us take a pledge not to pay our electricity bills. If the staff of discoms comes to you, you should ask them to go back. But we will not turn violent," he said.
Kejriwal also silenced his critics who said that he was indulging in politics. "They say I am doing politics. Yes, I am doing politics. My politics is for people and not for private parties".
With an eye on the Delhi assembly elections 2013, Kejriwal's group will raise some Delhi specific issues such as the hike in power tariffs and the privatisation of water. The group is yet to officially launch its political party and is expected to make an announcement to that effect on 02 October.
Demonstrators burnt electricity bills and shouted anti- government slogans.
The group said that while power companies were making profits, they fudged accounts to show that they were incurring losses and were unjustly demanded a 50 per cent increase in tariff in 2010-2011.
Prashant Bhushan said all the political parties and even some members of the judiciary were under the influence of private companies. "Recently, our current CJI and CJI designate spoke in favour of economic reforms and expressed doubt on CAG's study on coal blocks. It is unfortunate that private companies have highjacked the system including people serving on judicial bodies," he said.
On 19 September, erstwhile Team Anna was officially divided into two groups. One went with Kejriwal in favour of his political formation and the other group, with Bedi, has decided to continue the apolitical anti- graft movement with Anna Hazare.