Erstwhile Team Anna on Sunday claimed that the decision to turn the anti-corruption movement political was Anna Hazare's and a "malicious" campaign has been working overtime to drive a wedge between them and the 74-year-old social activist.
Breaking his silence over claims by a section of Team Anna members that Hazare was against forming a political party, activist Arvind Kejriwal alleged a "propaganda machinery" was working overtime to "drive wedge" between Hazare and other activists.
"A malicious campaign is being run that Anna is against political party and that Team thrust it on Anna. Truth is it was Anna's decision," Kejriwal tweeted on Sunday morning.
His remarks came a day after reports quoting Team Anna members mentioned that Hazare was against the formation of a party saying they were not prepared to take a plunge in politics.
On August three while calling off his fast, Hazare had announced the formation of a political alternative though he had said he would not be a member of the party.
"Anna clearly directed us to start forming political party. If he says even once that he doesn't want us to do that, we will immediately withdraw. Let Anna say once that he is against pol(itical) party formation, we will immediately withdraw," Kejriwal wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
He claimed that Hazare heeded to public demand and is convinced that there was no road left other than providing political alternative.
"Anna has been fighting corrupt for last 30 years. He is extremely sharp politically n (sic) fiercely independent. Those projecting Anna as a gullible man may try getting Anna to say a single line against his wishes.
"For last one year, Anna (was) being projected as a simpleton, an infant who could be influenced by anyone," he said.
On Saturday, erstwhile Team Anna member Sunita Godara claimed Hazare did not pressurise anyone but said that they were free to choose their own path.
"He told us that if you feel that this new alternative is a better way to fight against corruption and you believe that through this new alternative, you will win this fight then you have the freedom to choose that," she said.
Justice Santosh Hegde, who was also associated with the movement, said he is convinced that Hazare was right in not taking political plunge. "I don't think Team Anna would be able to successfully float a party and find candidates for all constituencies," he said.
In a statement uploaded on India Against Corruption website yesterday, erstwhile Team Anna member Kumar Vishwas sought to rebut the remarks on the feasibility of floating a political party.
Quoting Chanakya, he said one has to enter politics to clean it up. "Like anti-venom medicines are made from snake venom, one has to use creative, moral and responsible politics to tackle wrong, direction-less and immoral politics," Vishwas said.
On criticism of Team Anna's move, he alleged that no intellectual finds it necessary to comment when a criminal or a film star launches party.