After a garnering massive public support for their anti-corruption crusade some months back, Team Anna is facing a huge image crisis of late. Some of their members were allegedly involved in corruption cases which ultimately dented their image as a group, which could fight against the wrongdoings of the government.
One of the key faces in Team Anna’s anti-corruption movement, Prashant Bhushan, in a candid interview with Zeenews.com’s Swati Chaturvedi on her programme Kahiye Janab, accepts that they were wrong in going against the Congress directly in the Haryana by-election.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Swati: It seems that Team Anna is in disarray and people have no faith left in them to fight corruption?
Prashant: You may say that because some incidents like Swami Agnivesh have taken place. But we have learnt a lesson from the incident. When some of our core members acted against the movement, it’s natural that people lost respect. But we have faith that we will be able to generate the movement again.
Swati: What is Baba Ramdev’s role in the whole anti-corruption campaign? Are you comfortable in sharing the platform with him when he himself is under the scanner for his businesses?
Prashant: Nothing substantial has come out against him yet. If the government comes out with proper documents and proves that he is guilty, we will definitely sever all ties with him. But you know how government is acting against those who are fighting against corruption.
Swati: Team Anna campaigned directly against the Congress in a by-election in Haryana. Wasn’t that a wrong decision?
Prashant: Actually, that was the need of the hour. Congress acted in a high-handed manner. They asked our validity to fight against corruption. They said that since they are the elected members, only they have the right to decide on laws to be constituted. We thought that they should be taught a lesson in the election battlefield. They are the ruling party and they are against the law. So we decided to take them on electoral field.
Swati: Did you support the idea that time?
Prashant: I was not whole heartedly in support of the idea of campaigning directly against the Congress. But since our core-committee decided to go ahead with it, I agreed. But later on, we decided not to single out any political party.
But we are facing a problem here. People are asking us whom to vote for and whom not to vote for since all of them are corrupt.
Swati: So what is the solution? How will the Lokpal Bill be passed? Will you form a party?
Prashant: Forming a political party is not necessary. Rather we have to identify some candidates who are good and support the anti-corruption movement. They should not be from the mainstream parties.
Adaptation: Biswajit Jha