Anna Hazare announced in his blog that Team Anna had been disbanded.
“The agitation to demand a strong watchdog from the government has been stopped, but the movement and quest for Lokpal has not ended. If the government does not accept the demand, we will elect good people in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections who will not only form a strong Lokpal but also make laws like right to reject, right to recall and further empower gram sabhas,” he said.
Writing in his blog, Hazare said he would remain associated with the goal — announced from Jantar Mantar on August 2 — to create a political alternative, but dropped hints that from now on his association with the civil society activists fighting graft, who led the antigraft campaign, may not be unconditional.
Although unlike renowned civil society actors like Medha Patkar and Justice (retired) Santosh Hegde, the social campaigner was not critical of the political aspirations of Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi. However, he made little effort to hide his worry that the political turn is not free of risks.
While saying that he was aligned with the effort to explore a political alternative, Anna said, “However, there are some issues that need to be addressed first. We need to decide how to identify clean and non-corrupt candidates, the method of selecting party workers to keep out corrupt or criminal elements, how to raise the Rs 10 crore-Rs 15 crore needed to contest the elections and, most importantly, what action should be taken if candidates deviate from their goals after coming to power,” he said.
He explained, “If your focus shifts to power and money, the party will be no different from other political parties. The day I see any deviation from the goal or hankering after money and power, I will stop right there.”
Hazare announced his plan to embark on a countrywide tour over the next one-and-a-half years. “I will appeal to the people to look for candidates with good character for the Lok Sabha elections. Once we identify such people, our workers will scrutinize them and their work before selecting them as candidates,” he said.