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'2014 will tell whether our movement has steam'

delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2012 21:02 IST
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"Dum hai ya nahi, 2014 mein pata chalega. (Whether the movement still has the steam, we will come to know in 2014)."

This was how Anna Hazare on Wednesday responded to queries whether his anti-corruption movement still has the support and not fizzled out.

The 74-year-old activist, a veteran of several protests, was releasing a book titled 'Anna: 13 Days That Awakened India' written by TV journalist Ashutosh on the agitation in Ramlila Maidan last August.

"There are questions about the movement. Some people doubt that the movement has lost the steam. Whether the movement still has the steam, we will know in 2014 (when the country goes to general election)," he said.

Hazare said he will wait till mid-May to see whether Parliament passes a strong Lokpal law during the ongoing budget session and then embark on a nation-wide tour to awaken people about the issue.

"Soon after the elections are announced, I will go to Ramlila Maidan (and sit on fast) and people will be on streets," he said while claiming that his protest is not against any single party.

Agreeing with BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who also spoke at the function, he said a single law will not end corruption and what was needed is a change in system.

Rudy asked how can one call India a functional democracy when a former chief minister, who was jailed for a multi-crore scam, gets elected to Lok Sabha while another install his wife as the chief minister of the state which he ruled.

"What we needed is a change in system. Bureaucrats are supposed to construct roads and MLAs and MPs make laws. However, in India bureaucrats make laws and lawmakers construct roads," he said.

Extending support to Hazare's movement, Rudy said the veteran activist should also do something to attract good people into politics.

"Parents want their children to be engineers, doctors and professors. Nobody wants their wards to be MLAs or MPs. I request Hazare to do something big so that good people come to politics," he said.

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the three factors that led to success of the movement was Hazare's leadership, anger of people against corruption and that they (Team Anna) provided an alternative to fight the menace.

On his and other members role in the movement, Kejriwal said he, Prashant and Shanti Bhushan understood law but Hazare had a better understanding than them.

He also acknowledged that the jailing of Hazare in August just before his indefinite hunger strike helped the movement in a big way.

CNN-IBN's editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, who moderated the discussion, said he had reservations about the movement but accepted that somebody has to take the lead in the fight against corruption.

Ashutosh noted that his book was not on Hazare, but about the movement and its biggest protest so far.