New Delhi: As the Congress seized the opportunity of the widening rift between Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal by saying that the latter used the anti-corruption crusader for his political ambitions, Hazare also declared that he will no more resort to fasting to press for his demands. "Now onwards I will not undertake fast. In future I will fight for my causes through agitations," he said.
Hazare said he would continue to work to send "clean" people to Parliament. He also said that a large number of retired IAS officers have shown their willingness to join his movement for a corruption-free India.
Expressing full faith in the country's youth, Hazare asked them not to be pessimistic about future of the country. Hazare had gone for fast thrice last year (twice in New Delhi and once in Mumbai) to press for a strong Lokpal Bill.
The rift between Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal widened with the former declaring that he doesn\'t want to be associated with any political party.
The Gandhian again sat on a protest fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in July this year. Earlier, he had undertaken hunger strikes on several occasions in Maharashtra on issues related to corruption and transparency in governance.
Hazare said he is deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, for whom fasting was a spiritual weapon.
Meanwhile, the Congress targeted Kejriwal by saying that his real intentions have been known by the public. "Now it is clear to everyone that Anna wanted to run campaign for Lokpal but Arvind Kejriwal and others used him for making political party. Now it is clear that they had the intentions of using Anna for their political ambitions," Congress leader Jagdambika Pal said while reacting to Hazare's blog.
In a veiled attack on Kejriwal, Hazare on Friday had said "politics has split" the anti-corruption movement and the pro-party group has gone against his will. "Those who favour the party has been saying that if Anna says, then they will not form a party. But despite that, they have decided to go ahead with the plan against my decision."
"Sometimes, it is also said they were forming the party because Anna has decided so. This is not right," he added.
In his latest blog, the 75-year-old activist had expressed confidence that the Lokpal Bill will be passed before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and said, "Unfortunately, the movement has split even before we got the Bill. One wants to go political and the other wants to keep the movement alive."
"Now, there is an effort to link me with some party, or communal organisations. I have never in my life been a part of any such organisations. Till my last breath, I will not be part of any such things...the movement has split due to politics. Efforts are on to destroy whatever is left now. People should not fall into such accusations," he insisted.
"As elections are nearing, some party will try to misuse my name to garner votes. They will try to associate myself with them. There will be misuse of movement's name. You should not trust all these. The movement will remain movement only. Because it is sacred," Hazare said.
On the next course of his movement, he said his movement now needs an office in Delhi to coordinate its affairs. "But because of lack of money, we are not able to find one. I have not taken even Rs 5 from the donations which came in Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan. I kept all the money with IAC so that it will be spent on the movement," he said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)