In the run-up to the second round of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign in Mumbai, signs of a communication gap and differences between the social activist and his team have surfaced.
The agitation is scheduled to begin on December 27.
On Friday, hours after Hazare’s supporters told the Bombay HC they were not keen on accepting donations to pay the rental fee to use the ground at Bandra-Kurla Complex for the agitation, he contradicted them.
Speaking to the media from Ralegan Siddhi Hazare said he would not mind people with good credentials contributing to his cause. “A number of people have volunteered to extend financial help. We will check their credentials before accepting the money through cheque and demand draft.”
Just two days ago, Hazare had said he did not approve of donations for the Mumbai agitation. Soon after, India Against Corruption’s (IAC’s) Mumbai coordinator Mayank Gandhi sent out a press release conveying the message.
After the court refused to order the state and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to allow Team Anna to use the Bandra-Kurla Complex grounds for free, Hazare criticised the Mumbai unit of IAC for moving court. He called the decision “wrong” and his team “over-enthusiastic”.
On moving court, Gandhi said, “We did what we thought was right.” Asked to respond to Hazare’s criticism, he said, “Anna knows best.”
Hazare’s stand has come as a surprise to his supporters and sparked a debate on whether he is maintaining distance from them at this particular juncture.
Social commentator Jatin Desai said, “Anna’s statement shows he does not stand with his activists at the time of crisis. A true leader should stand with his activists.”
In support of the social activist
Mumbai: In what might give momentum to the three-day anti-Jan Lokpal campaign, which has received a lukewarm response so far, personalities such as writer Tushar Gandhi, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt will join the campaign on it’s final day, Saturday.
Human rights activist Ram Puniyani and Konkan Bachao Andolan leader Madhu Mohite are also expected to address the gathering.
The campaign, organised at Azad Maidan by the National Campaign for Equal Opportunity (NCEO), began on Thursday. “We are hoping to mobilise a larger crowd by inviting like-minded personalities to share the campaign stage,” said Sunil Kadam, chief convenor, NCEO. HTC