The Anna factor in AAP’s calculations
Jan Lokpal Bill crusader Anna Hazare and his one-time close associate Arvind Kejriwal have had an uneasy relationship ever since the latter decided to take the plunge into electoral politics.
Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: Jan Lokpal Bill crusader Anna Hazare and his one-time close associate Arvind Kejriwal have had an uneasy relationship ever since the latter decided to take the plunge into electoral politics.
Kejriwal, who along with Anna Hazare had spearheaded the India Against Corruption movement, formed the Aam Admi Party (AAP) but Anna stood by his pledge to never foray into politics, paving way for the separation of their paths.
But the parting was not a smooth ride, especially for a new political outfit like AAP, which was keen to be accepted as a credible and clean alternative to the current polity.
AAP has been consciously trying to keep the Anna connect alive even when he publicly chose to distance himself from the political party.
Post split, Anna accused Kejriwal of being “driven by the lure of money and personal ambition”, but the AAP chief always maintained that he has the highest respect for the social activist.
Anna even went to the extent of banning Kejriwal and Co from using his name or pictures for AAP but they always kept the connection alive.
“Anna`s 5 principles are foundation of our party. Anna`s photograph and name are printed in our hearts. We will keep seeking his blessings. We respect Anna Hazare, he is our guru and father,” Kejriwal had said days after he officially split from the Anna-led movement.
With the electoral battle in Delhi gaining steam the old association is back in the limelight, especially given the keenness being displayed by AAP to keep the Anna connect going.
Among the many promises made by the party to the Delhi electorate is that it will pass “Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill” in the Aassembly if the party comes to power.
Anna has not taken kindly to his name being used. “They say they will bring Anna’s Lokpal. How can Jan Lokpal Bill be placed in Vidhan Sabha, it can be brought in only in the Lok Sabha?...I am pained that they are using my name,” he said.
He has now once again warned AAP against misusing his name for political activities. However, Anna said that he continues to have faith in Kejriwal’s integrity.
Yesterday’s incident, when a man claiming to be a disciple of Anna threw black ink at Kejriwal, has once again sharpened the political fight.
Importantly, the AAP chose to not blame Anna in any way for the incident. They targeted their guns on the BJP and other forces who are upset due to the growing popularity of AAP.
“He was not a BJP worker. If he would have been one then he would have had shouted slogans in favour of Vajpayee and not Anna,” a BJP leader said.
“They want to misuse Anna. He claims to be an Anna supporter but he uses violent means which Anna has never supported,” a senior party leader said.
“We are opposed to the forces which sent him, they use misguided youth like him. He is only a pawn,” Kejriwal said.
On Anna, Kejriwal said, “I tried to talk to Anna but intermediaries don’t allow me to talk to him.”