Can Arvind Kejriwal`s AAP do without Anna Hazare?
While Anna Hazare has been steadfast in his opposition to the political route taken by Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) seems to be in no mood to let go of their Anna association.
Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: While Anna Hazare has been steadfast in his opposition to the political route taken by Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) seems to be in no mood to let go of their Anna association.
The simmering tensions between the two sides reached flashpoint when Anna, who is on an indefinite fast for Jan Lokpal Bill, publicly rebuked senior AAP leader Gopal Rai after the latter hit out against former Army chief VK Singh.
The ugly spat began during VK Singh’s speech in support of Anna. "Some people think they are bigger than Anna (seemingly referring to Arvind Kejriwal," Singh said.
Gopal Rai, who was present in the audience, got angry and objected to Singh’s remark. However, Anna shot down his opposition and asked VK Singh to continue his speech.
A livid Anna even asked Rai to leave Ralegan Siddhi. “Yesterday I had asked not to fast...why are you interrupting? If you want to do hulla gulla then go out of the village,” Anna said.
"He is the member of a party, why did he sit here," asked Anna, questioning the motive behind Rai`s presence.
Rai later said that it saddens him that the man (VK Singh) who left Anna to promote Narendra Modi is giving “advice”. This agitation is for Jan Lokpal Bill and nothing else should be discussed, he said.
Rai, who lost from Babarpur in the recently-concluded Delhi polls, went on say that Anna is like a father to him.
“I will remain on my fast as long as he does...we will not leave Anna,” he said.
The Aam Admi Party may have caught the imagination of the country with its spectacular run in Delhi Assembly Elections and has firmed up grand plans for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls but the fledging party appears unwilling to let go of Anna Hazare and Jan Lokpal agenda.
They have reasons to be worried when Anna refuses to give them space on the Jan Lokpal platform as the AAP owes its success to the massive public support that India Against Corruption (IAC) movement got during Anna’s fasts at Ramlila Maidan and Jantar Mantar.
Now that Congress and BJP are coming together to pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, AAP appears keen to claim credit for it.
Expectedly, AAP has said agents of Congress and BJP are "misleading" Anna to accept the amended bill, saying it was "good and adoptable".
The BJP has also hit out at AAP and accused it of trying to "hijack" Anna Hazare`s agitation on Jan Lokpal Bill.