Ralegan Siddhi: Anti-corruption
crusader Anna Hazare on Wednesday ruled out his joining politics or his movement taking a political turn.
"Absolutely not. I am taking extreme care to keep the
anti-corruption movement free of politics. There is absolutely
no such possibility," the 74-year-old activist said in an
He was replying to a question whether his movement
against corruption for a Jan Lokpal Bill could slowly take
political hues following the recent announcement of Team Anna
asking people to vote out MPs opposed to their version of the
law in the next Parliament elections.
Hazare, however, minced no words in branding the proposed
anti-corruption "yatra" being launched by senior BJP leader
LK Advani as the one designed to derive political mileage.
"If this yatra is aimed at rooting out corruption , why
do not they oppose the ruling party and bring the Jan Lokpal
"If they are sincere in their fight against corruption
why can`t they set up `Lokayukta` in BJP-ruled states? We
suspect a political motive in this yatra", he said reacting to
Advani`s announcement on embarking on a country-wide yatra
Asked about Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi`s
statement that Lokpal should have Constitutional status on the
lines of Election Commission, Hazare said, "both Lokpal and
Election Commissioner would have the autonomous status without
government interference in their functioning".
Hazare also strongly refuted the allegation of Congress
leader Digvijay Singh that his anti-corruption movement was
based on the support from RSS and the claim by VHP leader
Ashok Singhal that his organisation had backed it.
"Our movement has nothing to do with RSS or VHP. All this
is being talked to mislead the people," he said.
On the anti-corruption initiatives by Ramdev, Hazare said
he did not doubt the yoga guru`s commitment to the cause of
eradication of corruption from public life.
"But on his dais sit those who carry a stamp. Our support
to him is limited only to the anti-corruption aspect. We will
not share his platform and he will not share our dais. We will
support each other in separate ways to fight corruption," he
Elaborating on the issues he wanted to be included in the
resolution adopted by Parliament to break the deadlock over
his recent fast, he said, "we wanted these three points to be
adopted to create confidence among people about the Bill`s
scope which should ultimately bring Prime Minister, judiciary
and MPs in its ambit after due deliberations."
Asked whether he was happy with the way Parliament
responded to his agitation, he said he will not be satisfied
until and unless Lokpal Bill is made a law.
Hazare said he agreed to the time-frame of the Winter
session for the bill to be passed in Parliament because of the
"written undertaking" given by the government. "Since it was a
written undertaking, I put my faith in it, agreeing to the
time frame," he said.
Asked how he could accept the mediation of Union Minister
Vilasrao Deshmukh, facing allegations in Adarsh scam, to end
his 12-day fast, Hazare said, "I had not entertained him at
Ramlila Maidan as Vilasrao Deshmukh.
"I had not invited him there. I just accepted the letter
from the Prime Minister which he delivered to me as an
emissary of Manmohan Singh," he said.
Asked whether the negotiations carried on with the
government by his team members during the course of his fast
had his approval, Hazare answered in the affirmative?
He also did not want to read much into Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh sending bouquet to him wishing speedy recovery
while he was in a hospital after breaking his 12-day fast.
"The bouquet that I received in the hospital was sent by
Prime Minister`s office as a matter of procedure," he said.
Hazare was asked what course would he follow if he
developed differences with his team members.
"We had no differences of opinion in the past and would
not have any differences in future. Friction happens when
people are selfish and greedy. All my team members are
fighting for a cause with a selfless commitment," he said.
On Kiran Bedi`s mocking of MPs, he said, "she just
expressed her feelings while mimicking MPs at Ramlila Maidan.
Some MPs behave unscrupulously. She will give a reply to the
notice of preach of privilege if she gets it".