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Anna Hazare's supporters unhappy with political alternative, burn his posters in Surat

CNN-IBN
Aug 04, 2012 at 09:27am IST

New Delhi: A day after Team Anna announced its political debut, some dejected Anna Hazare supporters at Navsari in Surat burnt posters of Anna and India Against Corruption. The supporters are against the team's decision to form a political party. The supporters had been sitting with Anna in protest for the past 10 days.

The decision has got mixed reactions from Anna's supporters. Some unhappy India Against Corruption were absent from his fast venue, Jantar Mantar, on Friday. While some volunteers were absent, many returned their identity cards.

While Anna Hazare said he will stay out of it, his supporters say they want a revolution and not another political party. "I'm against this decision. Anna should take it back. This is a movement and should remain that way," one of the supporters said. "I've come from Jaipur to request Anna to take the path of a revolution and not party politics," another supporter added.

Team Anna member Santosh Hegde on Friday said he does not support Anna Hazare and his team floating a political party, but would campaign for candidates who identify themselves with his movement against corruption.

"I don't support Anna Hazare and his team starting a political party. But I have heard Anna speaking on TV that he is neither forming a party nor contesting elections, but may support people wanting to contest elections whom he knows will help the cause of fight against corruption and bring about political change in the country," he said.

Team Anna officially announced its entry into politics as it ended its 10-day fast at Jantar Mantar on Friday. Making the announcement at Jantar Mantar, Arvind Kejriwal said that the team would not take the move to Parliament.

Kejriwal also assured the people that efforts would be made to keep the functioning of the political party transparent, adding that people would be given a chance to select their own candidates. He further asked the people to suggest a name for the party.

"We will make all our donations and spending public and challenge other parties to do the same. Our candidates will be decided by people, we will challenge others to do the same," said Kejriwal.

The Team Anna member said that the party would not have any high command.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, however, made it clear that he would not contest any election, but said that he would back his team's party.

"I will not form a party. I will not contest in any elections. But I am ready to provide an alternative to the people of this country because people like VK Singh and other eminent people have given us encouragement," said Anna.

Anna also said that he would travel across the country to make the people aware.

Swami Agnivesh also slammed Team Anna for its decision. He said, "Anna has broken the sanctity of 'anshan' (fast). Anshan is always the last option. This is a black day."

"Calling off the anshan and looking at an alternative political option has hurt the dignity of the fast that was introduced by Mahatama Gandhi. They should apologise to the country to have used the sentiments of the country," Agnivesh said.

Team Anna has, however, remained firm on its decision to go political saying they were left with no other option as the government did not intend to listen to them.

"The same people who challenged us to a political fight are now saying we have political ambitions. We had no choice but to provide a political alternative," said Team Anna member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

Another key member, Manish Sisodia said, "We realised that the government was not listening to us. Look what has happened to Irom Sharmila, she was force fed for years. The government has many ways of ignoring people's opinions. The voice of the people does not matter to the government."

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