Despite reports of Anna Hazare’s unwillingness to float a political party, top members of his erstwhile team on Sunday said the social activist was completely prepared to take the political path. Broad hints were also dropped that the party may skip state polls in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh this year, and make next year’s Delhi assembly elections their first fight in the electoral arena.
The formation of the new party is likely to be announced on October 2.
Anna’s associates met here Sunday to deliberate on their future course of action. Their meeting was preceded by a gathering of volunteers affiliated to India Against Corruption (IAC), the non-political platform of co-activist Arvind Kejriwal, on Saturday.
Sources said it was during the meet that Kejriwal referred to the Delhi assembly elections as the first target of the party. A majority of the volunteers were in support of the idea.
On the issue of Hazare floating the political party, Kejriwal stated on micro-blogging site Twitter that the Gandhian activist was fully behind the decision. “Anna heeded to public demand, and is convinced that there was no road left other than providing a political alternative. Anna clearly directed us to form a political party,” he tweeted. "Let Anna say once that he is against pol(itical) party formation, we will immediately withdraw."
Kejriwal also said Hazare was politically sharp and fiercely independent, and he cannot be influenced by anybody.
However, his colleague Kiran Bedi claimed that Hazare also gave people not supportive of treading the political path the option of remaining in the anti-corruption movement. “I have repeatedly made known that I am not aligned towards electoral politics. It’s against my nature. Public service is," Bedi tweeted Among her associates, she was the only one to visit Ramlila Maidan here to attend a fast organised by Baba Ramdev.
So far, Justice Santosh Hegde is the only Anna associate who has openly protested against the decision to go political.