Stumped by the roles perceived to be played by politicians in Parliament during the lokpal bill debate last week, Team Anna is seriously considering an image makeover. It no longer wants to be seen as anti-Congress.
Since the team feels majority of the parties do not "appear sincere" to fight corruption, it will review its announcement of campaigning against the Congress in the five assembly elections to be held during January-March.
The core team of social activist Anna Hazare is wary of doing another Hisar, where it directly opposed the Congress in the Lok Sabha byelection in October. For, opposing the Congress will give an opportunity to Hazare’s detractors to rubbish the entire movement as a mere "anti-Congress front".
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, a team Anna member, said, "Our issue is that the Congress party was in a position to bring a strong lokpal bill, but it deceived us. Our position would have been the same against any other party which would have been in power at the Centre."
Though a final decision is yet to be taken, the team may register its presence only in Uttar Pradesh, where it feels the fight is not bi-polar and voters have the choice of at least four major political formations.
The view emerging among the Hazare followers is that it should not be seen as directly opposing any political party, particularly where there is a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP-led alliances in Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand.
“A final call will be taken by the core committee soon after Annaji's health improves. I cannot comment any further,” said another team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal.
One of the major factors behind team Anna reviewing its election campaign announcement is the lack of clean alternatives in the states going to polls.
“Take the case of Punjab, where top leaders of both Akalis and Congress face serious corruption charges. We cannot be seen as even indirectly seeking support for any of the alliances,” said a team Anna member.