After a closed-door meeting between anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his close aide Arvind Kejriwal, Hazare has diluted his stand on the formation of a political party by his supporters.
Two days after Hazare made his stand clear that he was not in favour of forming any political party, supporters of the erstwhile Team Anna, Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, flew down to Ralegan Siddhi and had a meeting with him for more than an hour.
Hazare said on Saturday that he preferred to seek a mandate from the people about setting up a political party. Hazare supporters will hold two conventions and also start a dialogue with people on phone, emails, SMSes and letters to understand their views on the issue.
Briefing reporters, Hazare announced: “I will neither form any political party nor contest any election. But there is no harm in supporting candidates with a clean character.”
Admitting differences of opinion within his erstwhile team, Hazare said: “We have been discussing the issue. We have accepted democracy, and will seek referendum from the people whether they want us to form a political party. I will campaign for the candidates if people want me to take that step.”
Hazare said the move was aimed at sending good people to the Parliament, which has not taken a decision on the Lokpal for two years. He repeatedly said that he would never contest any election in his life.
Two months ago, Hazare had publicly announced at Ramlila Maidan that he would form a political party. However, he changed his stand later and preferred to maintain the apolitical nature of his agitation. However, a section in team Anna has been pressing the idea of forming a new political party.
Kiran Bedi, another of Hazare’s staunch supporters, was not present at the meeting. Sources said Bedi was in Delhi and was not aware of any meeting at Ralegan Siddhi.
Kejriwal, who was sitting beside Hazare, declared criterions and procedure for selection of probable candidates.