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What lies ahead for the new political party?

The party’s fortune hinges on whether the Hazare factor will cut ice with electorate

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2012 21:13 IST
Hindustan Times

Kejriwal on September 11, 2011 said, “We are a non-party and non-electoral political movement. Corruption is a political issue. We will fight it but will not contest elections.”

However, his letter to IAC volunteers on August 7, 2012 said: “You may disagree with the decision of providing a political alternative, but I assure you that the intent of those taking the decision was never bad…..It does not mean we end the movement.”

The sharp contrast in the two statements within less than a year from the chief architect of the highly successful anti-graft movement, which eventually lost its momentum, clearly reflects the daunting task ahead for Kejriwal and his colleagues.

From the loud cheering everytime they mocked politicians or the infamous act of Kiran Bedi showing MPs in poor light at Ramlila Ground last August, the former team Anna is now reflecting on what lies ahead.

Kejriwal says having been written off by the political class and the media has provided them ample time to prepare quietly and Prashant Bhushan says the first major announcement is likely to take atleast a month.

Both agree that their fortune hinges on a single dominant factor — whether the Hazare factor will cut ice with the electorate and to what extent.

Currently relaxing at his home in the colony of Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officers at Kaushambi in the National Capital region — where he lives with his wife, his two school-going children, and parents — Kejriwal is pinning hopes on the widespread public support for his venture.

Asked about the party structure, availability of funds and criteria for selecting candidates, Kejriwal says adequate answers will be provided at an appropriate time. The new politician, whose favourite mode of relaxation is attending a Vipassana meditation camp for 10 days annually, is not ready to reveal when his party would make the electoral debut.

He repeatedly refers to the film Pan Singh Tomar to describe the public image of elected representatives, but is aware that a new agenda would have to click with the public, if his outfit is to do well at the electoral hustings.

He concedes that campaigning against a particular political party (Congress) was not that tough a task, seeking votes for own their party will be a completely different ball game.

First Published: Aug 11, 2012 21:12 IST