New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has finally said that he is ready to give a political alternative to the country. Making the announcement at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, Anna has asked public for ideas on a political roadmap.
Team Anna has also decided that Anna Hazare, his aides Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other supporters will end their fast at 5 pm on Friday.
Making the announcement, Anna said, "Political alternative will be found, we will travel across the country for the next two years."
Team Anna has decided to end the fast at 5 pm on Friday and has asked people for ideas on a political roadmap.
Talking about the funds required for the purpose, Anna said that it was yet to be figured out.
He said, "We will have to see where the funds will come from in case we plan to give a political alternative."
Anna, however, clarified that he was not willing to contest an election. He said, "I will not enter politics. Choosing the right candidate is important. Candidates will be scanned. Need to have the spirit of service, must be patriotic, and non corrupt."
Following the announcement by the veteran social activist, Kejriwal addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar saying the country needs people’s alternative to the government.
"Our movement is for the change of system and not change of government. Our movement is for decentralisation of power, power in the hands of the common man, power to people," said Kejriwal.
Hitting out at the government for not accepting the demands of Team Anna, Kejriwal said the government was not willing to pass the Lokpal Bill.
He said, "This government is deaf and mute. They do not want to pass the Lokpal Bill. All parties are corrupt."
Reacting to the big announcement, the Congress hit out at Team Anna saying it always knew that they had political ambitions behind their movement.
Congress leader Ambika Soni said that it's good that Team Anna's political intentions are out in open.
"We were saying this from first day that Team Anna is inspired by politics. It's good that their intentions are out in the open. It's best they come out and be part of the same system they abuse always.
"If they call off their fast, it's a good thing. Don't hold government to ransom. They have made their point and accusing the government of not bringing Lokpal is not true. It's passed in Lok Sabha and its now with Select Committee," she said.
Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal also welcomed the decision of Team Anna saying they are entitled to be a part of the democratic process.
Sibal said, "I am happy that Team Anna is giving up their fast. They are entitled to be part of democratic process, good luck to them. Fast is a doubtful strategy when it comes to parliamentary processes."
However, Team Anna defended the decision with key member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan saying that the only option left with them is to bring revolution.
"When the government is showing arrogance of power, the only option left is to bring revolution," he said.
Bhushan further said, "Existing political parties are corrupt beyond repair, so we need an alternative politics."
Leaders from other political parties such as Sitaram Yechury of the Left Front also welcomed the decision of Team Anna to enter politics.
The decision by Team Anna came after around 22 eminent citizens, including former army chief V K Singh, appealed them to end their fast.
- Team Anna to join politics, to end fast on Friday 5 pm
- 'Glad Team Anna's intentions are now in the open'