A day after veteran anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare revealed his plan for the 2014 general election, the Congress on Friday challenged him and his associates to contest polls.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy hit out at Team Anna.
“As far as our government is concerned, whatever steps were possible, we have taken against corruption. We are trying to pass the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha. There are some differences in the party… The select committee is looking into the bill,” Narayanasamy said.
“I sent a reply to Anna. In that I replied what all steps the government has taken to curb corruption. We have taken steps to ensure whenever any case comes up and also to prevent any corruption. Despite all this, they are agitating. Today, his intentions have become clear. They want to form a political party. Their intensions are exposed today,” he said.
Further taking on Team Anna on the thin attendance at its agitation venue in Delhi, Jantar Mantar, the minister said, “Hardly 50 people have come for the (hunger) strike. The people who are sitting on hunger strike, they are taking rest in Maharashtra Sadan. Is this the way they are on fast? People are not fool to believe all this. They don’t want the country to prosper. Their agenda is being exposed. They are accountable to people, not to anybody else.”
“Anna is a simple man. I value him. But people with Anna have a different agenda… Anna’s habit is that when you write a letter to him, he gives it to the media. Their team is already split… Let them contest elections and win and come to power… The people have taught them the lesson,” he added.
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare had earlier in the day admitted that the support to the anti-corruption movement was waning and that time had come to look for a political alternative.
In an interview, the anti-corruption crusader said that he would consider joining politics if the people wanted him to. “If people say that Anna should enter politics, then I could think about it,” he said. He, however, was quick to add that he would not fight elections but support a political party that would be launched by someone willing to fight against corruption.
Reacting to Hazares comments, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said, “We welcome this decision of Anna in politics… Anna should also contest the election. Anna, Baba Ramdev, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and all other Team Anna members should contest elections.”
Union Minister Salman Khurshid said, “Let him come. There will be one more meeting. We will sort it out by then. We have worked on a plan. He should come. We are saying that he should come.”
“If he wants to come, he can enter politics. When we used to say, you did not believe us. He asked a lot of questions, but now he is doing the same. He always said that ‘we will not contest elections’ and asked that ‘how do these people get funds and other things to contest elections’,” Khurshid said.