New Delhi: It was seen coming, finally it has happened. Anna Hazare and his team, who have been fighting for a strong Lokpal, on Thursday announced that they are ready to give a political alternative to the people of the country.
Anna, who along with three others is on fast, announced that he will not join politics but will support a political alternative from outside.
“If a political party needs to be formed to bring change in the country, then so be it,” he said.
"It is another two years to go to polls in 2014. We have to go to people throughout the country in the next one-and- half years," Anna added.
"Why waste time on fasts? Tomorrow at 5 pm, all fast will end," Hazare told supporters at Jantar Mantar at the end of an address in which he enunciated the civil society's approach to providing a political alternative to the current system.
Seeking people’s view on the issue, Anna said that there is nothing wrong in forming a political party as it seems to be the only option left to ensure that right people get elected to Parliament.
Minutes after Anna’s declaration, noted RTI activist and Anna Hazare’s close associate Arvind Kejriwal said, “Team Anna is ready to give a political alternative if the nation wants.”
Kerjriwal said, “Team Anna wants a change in the system, it does not want a change in government.”
Making an appeal to the nation, Kejriwal said, “People are fed up with rampant corruption and they want it to end and if the people of India want us to play a big role in politics we want their valuable suggestion in this regard. We want them to tell us the basis on which candidates for elections be selected…what should be the criterion for their selection.”
Kejriwal also cautioned that the political option will work only if honest people go to Parliament.
“What will happen if corrupt people enter Parliament? What if we fail to choose correct candidates? All your efforts will be wasted if we commit the same mistakes which the main political parties have made in all these years,” he said.
Referring to an opinion poll being conducted by Zee News in which people are asked whether they want Team Anna to join politics, Kejriwal said, “I am happy to announce that out of 75,000 people who responded to the opinion poll on Zee News, nearly 94% favoured Team Anna joining politics.”
Later, Team Anna announced that Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai would end their fast at 5 pm tomorrow.
The fast is set to end but the stage appears set for a bigger battle.
Should Team Anna join politics? YOUR VOTE
First Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012, 16:29