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Aides split over political move as Anna Hazare scraps team

CNN-IBN
Aug 06, 2012 at 10:31pm IST

New Delhi: In a surprising move, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Monday disbanded his team, saying the purpose of it was over. The decision, however, did not appear to go down well with several members of Team Anna and supporters of the Anna movement.

While key Team Anna member N Santosh Hegde said that he felt sorry about the decision, another member Kiran Bedi posted a tweet saying she did not understand why the blog was written despite them having a detailed meeting with Anna on the issue earlier.

In his blog published on Monday, though Anna said that he was willing to provide a political alternative to the country, he himself raised several questions on the modus operandi of the same.

The social activist raised several questions on the feasibility of a political party by Team Anna. He also expressed concern about how the required amount of money would be obtained to form a political party and contest elections.

He further pointed that the party might select honest candidates to fight the elections, but there was no way to ensure that they do not get corrupt after reaching Parliament.

The anti-corruption crusader went on to declare the end of Team Anna and its core committee as its work was over.

Reacting to the blog, Hegde said, "I feel sorry (about the decision to disband the team) for the reason that the movement started by Anna for a strong Lokpal was need of the hour...It (the movement spearheaded by Team Anna) had progressed sufficiently and controversy or difference of opinion in regard to whether Team Anna should contest elections or not is unfortunate and which must have led to Anna disbanding the team."

The former Karnataka Lokayukta further said, "I hope Team Anna would still lead the fight against corruption...It (Team Anna) could have gone on like this (without being disbanded) without fasting and other things (the issue of political alternative)."

He said he would suggest Anna to go to different places and convince people on fighting corruption and maladministration and create more awareness than it is today.

On whether the political alternative being talked about by Team Anna would work, Hegde said, "I don't think. That's why I have disassociated with that part of the decision making."

Kiran Bedi also expressed her displeasure over the blog, posting a tweet: "Read Anna's blog. Do not know what all it means? For we all had very useful preparatory meeting with Annaji wherein he gave useful guidance".

This came a day after some other Team Anna members, including Akhil Gogoi, distanced themselves from the decision to go political.

"We have no faith in the ability of electoral politics. Electoral politics by itself cannot bring an end to corruption. For that we need to change the system itself," Gogoi had said.

In the wake of the developments concerning Team Anna, it seems that the social activist does not want to lend his name and the credibility that comes with it to a political party born out of the anti-corruption movement.

Also, with several team members expressing their displeasure over the decision to form a political party, Anna probably feared that resignations might follow.

Meanwhile, the announcement of the political party was widely believed as a shift of power from Anna Hazare to key team member Arvind Kejriwal. However, with Anna disbanding the team and clarifying that he would not be a part of the political process, it is yet to be seen whether Kejriwal can survive without the credibility and power of the anti-corruption crusader.

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)

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