Top Team Anna members on Sunday rejected criticism that Anna Hazare was forced to adopt the path of political alternative and claimed that he was fully involved in the decision to go political.
As a first step, Team Anna may test the waters in the Delhi Assembly elections next year while skipping the polls in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later this year.
The members said a propaganda machinery was working overtime to drive a wedge between Hazare and the other team members which, they feel, would fail.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal even offered to immediately withdraw from going ahead with the political alternative if Hazare says he is against the formation of a party.
Kiran Bedi, however, added a line saying Hazare also gave the option to remain in the anti-corruption movement for those who were not willing to follow the political path.
The views of Kejriwal, Bedi and others came in the context of speculation that Hazare was against the team pitching into politics for changing the system.
"Anna heeded to public demand and is convinced that there was no road left other than providing political alternative. Anna clearly directed us to start forming political party," Kejriwal wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"Let Anna say once that he is against pol(itical) party formation, we will immediately withdraw," he said, adding that Hazare was extremely sharp politically and fiercely independent.
Anna cannot be influenced by anyone, he added.
Bedi told reporters, "Anna had said that those people who think are ready for political party, then they should take that option, but those who think that the movement is also necessary, Anna has kept both options open."
In reply to a question, she wrote on Twitter, "I have repeatedly made known that I am not aligned towards electoral politics. Its against my nature. Public service is."