Anna, team stand 'separated'
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare Wednesday confirmed his "separation" from his former team and from key associate Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of forming a political party and directed that his photographs or name should not be used for political campaigning.
Formalizing a split with his team and opposing the movement taking a political plunge, Anna said: "I will not go with any political party or form any political party."
"It is unfortunate that Team Anna has separated," Anna said after a meeting with other social activists who were members of erstwhile Team Anna to decide future course of action.
Anna told social activists: "Do not use my photo or name for any political campaigning. Do whatever you can on your own basis."
"The meeting was attended by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, Santosh Hegde, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas and a few other prominent social activists, Aswathi Muralidharan, India Against Corruption media coordinator, told IANS.
Anna said: "My best wishes are with them (activist thinking to form political party). There is no harm in it. If they think that they can get majority in parliament, it is good. The paths have been separated. Both of us have chosen our separate paths."
Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that "country is on sale and passing through very difficult phase. "I will do everything possible for me to save my country," he added.
Kiran Bedi supported Anna's decision and tweeted: "Anna finally distances himself from political option. Moves to strengthen the movement. May bring together anti-corruption movements."
Hazare refused to accept the survey done by IAC for forming political party and said he does not agree with the exercise done through social networking sites.
Anna said that he will lead his war for Lokpal bill till election 2014. "Now it is that the government has to decide whether bring Lokpal or my death," he said.
Anna Hazare Tuesday said he did not support the idea of anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge and told Arvind Kejriwal that he should not expect his support for all his candidates.
"He (Kejriwal) will go his way and I will go mine. I have always stated that I don't want to form a political party and contest elections. My path is different," Hazare has said Tuesday in Pune.
The social activist's declaration that he would neither contest elections nor form a political party effectively threw cold water on a "referendum" by IAC, the results of which were released Monday.
According to IAC, its week-long survey attracted 737,041 respondents, of whom 561,701 (76 percent) favoured a political party while the rest were against the idea