‘We are not responsible if oppn is benefited’
Maintaining that they are not campaigning for any party in the Hisar election, Arvind Kejriwal has said Team Anna should not be held responsible if their movement in any way benefits the opposition.
Hisar, Haryana: Maintaining that they are not
campaigning for any party in the Hisar election, Arvind
Kejriwal has said Team Anna should not be held responsible if
their movement in any way benefits the opposition and
dismissed as "absurd" talk of Hazare nursing an ambition to
"We are fighting for systemic changes. We are not
campaigning for anyone or asking voters to vote for a
particular candidate. We are not responsible if opposition is
benefited. It is the Congress which is responsible for this.
"If they make an announcement (about bringing the Jan
Lokpal Bill) today, we will withdraw our entire campaign
against them," he told reporters here last evening.
Besides Kejriwal, who hails from Hisar in Haryana, other
members of Team Anna including Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia
addressed public gatherings asking people to refrain from
voting for Congress for its "failure" to bring their Bill in
Reacting to Congress leader Digvijay Singh`s remarks
that Hazare wants to become the President, Kejriwal said,
"There is no truth in the claims that Anna wants to become
President of India. This is completely absurd..complete
Kejriwal stressed that people of Hisar should not
confine their choice to just two or three candidates in the
fray, but choose from 39 other non-Congress candidates who are
Though it`s a triangular contest for the Hisar seat, with
Congress` Jai Prakash, HJC-BJP`s Kuldeep Bishnoi and INLD`s
Ajay Singh Chautala in the fray, there are other candidates
who are fighting including those from smaller parties and
Asked if he can vouch for INLD or HJC-BJP`s candidates as
having clean image, Kejriwal said, "We never said that
Chautala or Bishnoi is better than anyone else....
"If Chautalas are facing charges, it is all the more
reason why we are fighting for the Jan Lokpal Bill so that
anyone who indulges in corruption, irrespective of whosoever
he may be, is punished promptly for his misdeeds".
To a question, Kejriwal said, "We will treat Hisar
results as a referendum. Let us treat it as a referendum. We
have made the Jan Lokpal Bill an issue here.
"We are asking people to leave out Congress and from the
rest 39 make your own assessment and pick up a candidate whom
they think is clean. We are telling them to defeat Congress so
that it is forced to bring the Jan Lokpal Bill, which will
ensure that corrupt leaders go to jail".
He also said that on their agenda was "right to reject"
so that if people think none of the contesting candidates
deserves their vote, they can press the "reject button".
Kejriwal tried to play down talk of any rift within the
Team Anna and said prominent member Prashant Bhushan could not
campaign in Hisar because he was travelling.
Asked about the suggestion of some Congress leaders that
he should contest the polls himself, Kejriwal asked, "Has the
Congress abdicated its responsibility. Let them resign and
then we will decide whether we need to fight or not".
He also lashed out at Digvijay Singh, saying it was a
baseless charge that their movement had anything to do with
any political party or the RSS.
"Please produce an evidence to back your claims..Yes, we
admit that since our movement is a people`s movement, there
could be people from the Left, Right, Centre, RSS, BJP etc.
who could have come (when Anna was on fast), but it is
baseless to say we have any political outfit`s backing.
"We also strongly condemn BJP leader Sushma Swaraj`s
remarks made at a (HJC-BJP) rally here (on Sunday)," he said,
referring to the remarks that people should elect their
On if Hazare will go for another fast if the Bill is not
passed in Parliament, Kejriwal said, "I can`t say anything now
as it is too premature".
To a question if his party will campaign against the
Congress in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, which are among the
poll-bound states, he said the choice is left with the
"But it doesn`t mean if the Bill is not passed, we will
back the Shiromani Akali Dal or Mayawati`s BSP...We are not
identifying who is good or who is bad, we are only putting
pressure on Congress so that they pass the Jan Lokpal Bill,"