As the second round of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign in the city draws near, it looks like there is a communication gap and differences between Anna and his team, whose excellently orchestrated agitation earlier this year captured Mumbai’s imagination and won its support.
The agitation is scheduled to begin on December 27.
On Friday, hours after Anna’s supporters told Bombay High Court that they were not keen to accept donations to pay the rental fee to use the ground at Bandra-Kurla Complex for the agitation, Anna contradicted them while speaking to the media from his village, Ralegan Siddhi, when he said he would not mind people with good credentials contributing to his cause.
“A number of people have volunteered to extend financial help for the agitation. We will check their credentials before accepting the money through cheque and demand draft,” he said.
Just two days ago, Anna had said he did not approve of donations for the Mumbai agitation, after which IAC’s Mumbai coordinator Mayank Gandhi sent out a press release stating the same.
After the Bombay High 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, Anna criticised the Mumbai unit of India Against Corruption for moving court, calling the decision “wrong” and his team “overenthusiastic”.
“We did what we thought was right,” Gandhi said about moving court. Asked to respond to Anna’s criticism, he said: “Anna knows best.”
The crusader’s stand has come as a surprise to his supporters and has sparked a debate on whether he is maintaining a distance from them in the time of crisis.
Jatin Desai, social commentator, said Anna should have instructed the activists in Mumbai earlier and stopped them from going to court.
“Anna’s statement shows that he does not stand with his activists at the time of crisis. A true leader should stand with his activists.”