Aides urge Hazare to delink from Kejriwal

Some prominent members and volunteers of erstwhile Team Anna urged Hazare to delink from Kejriwal and revive the "apolitical" anti-graft movement.

Updated: Sep 09, 2012, 20:50 PM IST

New Delhi: A day after India Against Corruption started a survey on forming a political party, some prominent members and volunteers of erstwhile Team Anna Sunday urged Anna Hazare to delink himself from Arvind Kejriwal and revive the "apolitical" anti-graft movement.

The appeal to Hazare came after a meeting of IAC volunteers, who were opposed to the movement taking a political plunge, attended by former Team Anna Core Committee member Sunita Godhara, NAPM organsier Madhuresh and online activist Shivendra Singh, who had earlier opposed alleged attempts to turn the movement "Kejriwal-centric".

In a statement, the volunteers urged Anna to "restart apolitical" movement for Janlokpal, saying the voice of continuing the anti-corruption movement demanding Janlokpal is gaining more support from different quarters.

Volunteers who gathered here discussed on the merits of continuing the movement as opposed to forming political party as announced by some leaders of civil society, it said.

Some of the volunteers will go to Ralegan Siddhi to meet Hazare and request him to "form a separate movement from PCRF and establish a secretariat under his command."

"Movement has not failed but there has been a temporary setback. Need of the hour was to retreat and reflect and come back stronger at a later time instead of initiating an altogether new step," Madhuresh of National Alliance for People`s Movement (NAPM) said.

In the meeting, Godhara alleged that the August agitation was called off in haste and demanded that Hazare should restart it soon.

She had earlier claimed that Hazare had distributed a note citing Mahatma Gandhi in which he expressed doubts about changing the character of the movement.

Those who participated in this meeting included volunteers who had been part of IAC since its beginning in November 2010.

Several students, senior citizens and activists from rural areas of Delhi NCR also attended the meeting.

IAC City coordinators from Lucknow, Varanasi and Rampur also attended the meeting, the statement said.

The erstwhile Team Anna was divided over the movement taking a political plunge and Kiran Bedi and Justice Santosh Hegde were among the prominent dissenting voices.

Kejriwal and others plan to announce the formation of the party on Gandhi Jayanti and had met Hazare yesterday who asked them to get wider suggestions from public.

Hazare is said to be not very enthusiastic about formation of a party and has already said there is no need for a party or for contesting elections.

In a statement issued in New Delhi yesterday, Kejriwal-led IAC had yesterday said they will conduct a nationwide survey on the issue of political alternative.

"Anna wants to know what people think about this and has asked us to get the views from the public through means like SMS, mails, website and other modes," it said.

Kejriwal today claimed that they were getting immense response to their survey and the phone lines crashed after getting around 60,000 missed calls.