Delhi’s harsh winter has necessitated shifting of Anna Hazare’s fast venue to Mumbai and the move has triggered talk of the social activist giving the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) the chills ahead of the Mumbai municipal polls.
The buzz has an edge because Hazare’s anti-corruption movement — perceived to have an anti-Congress, anti-NCP tilt — failed to impact the civic polls in Maharashtra. Both parties fared well in the polls.
Now, Hazare’s fast, scheduled to begin on December 27 at the historic Azad Maidan, is being keenly watched for its possible impact on the politically crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls in February.
If Hazare’s followers are to be believed, he will appeal to people to vote against the Congress and the NCP in the 10 municipal corporation polls. His proposed 30-day agitation, as a part of the jan lokpal movement, will overlap with the campaigning for the these polls.
India Against Corruption (IAC) confirmed shifting of Hazare’s fast venue. But Mayank Gandhi, IAC state coordinator, said the organisation would give an anti-Congress call for the BMC polls only if the party did not pass a strong lokpal bill in the ongoing session of Parliament.
Congress, however, is not unduly worried. Party spokesperson Sanjay Dutt said results of the first phase of the recent civic polls in the state had proved voters supported the Congress and NCP.