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Anna Hazare's team cautious on supporting role

Mindful of the public support generated during the 12-day fast of Hazare, the team does not want to fritter away the advantage as some of the demands don't go well with the narrative the movement created — one India against corruption. Nagendar Sharma reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 02, 2011 11:32 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Demands are plenty — from Kashmir to the North-East — but Team Anna is treading cautiously on the causes social activist Anna Hazare associates with.

Mindful of the public support generated during the 12-day fast of the anti-graft campaigner, the team does not want to fritter away the advantage as some of the demands don't go well with the narrative the movement created — one India against corruption.

Any sign of sympathy for Kashmiri separatists or other such groups may not go down well with the supporters for whom the Tricolour emerged as the symbol of Hazare’s campaign.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the leader of the moderate faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir, recently asked Hazare to take up the killings of civilians in the Valley.

The decision on the Mirwaiz’s statement would be taken by the core committee, said Arvind Kejriwal, a Team Anna member. “It will be for Annaji to decide. All issues will be discussed during our core committee meeting to be held at Ralegan Siddhi on September 10-11,” he said.

Kejriwal did hint that the focus for now would be on seeing the lokpal bill through.

His colleague, lawyer Prashant Bhushan said there was a need to "broadbase" Hazare's movement, but for that a formal and collective decision would have to be taken. The team might have to take a call on some the movements but "it is not necessary to respond to all of them", he said.

On Hazare being invited to Manipur by Irom Sharmila, who has been fasting for almost 11 years seeking repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Protection) Act, Bhushan said he supported the demand and would discuss it with the team.

People opposing the nuclear plant at Jaitapur in Mahrashtra were looking to Hazare for leadership, Medha Patkar, another team member, had said at the Ramlila Ground, where the activist spent 10 of his fast days.