BJP wary of Anna's political move
Party is afraid of losing vote bank, says Bhushan
When activist Anna Hazare sat on a 13-day fast at the Ramlila Ground in the national capital last August evoking massive public support, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in an euphoric mood.
The party thought that Team Anna’s widely publicised agitation for a strong Lokpal was virtually doing a job that the main opposition, which has tried to expose that the UPA government has “lost credibility” among people.
But, a year later, suspicion has replaced the euphoria in the right-wing party primarily for two reasons.
Firstly, Team Anna, which ended its fast abruptly on Friday, started attacking the politicians rather than the political system, a larger institutional malaise that nurtures such representatives who have converted public service into a money making enterprise, a BJP leader stated.
Team Anna’s Friday declaration that they might launch a political party to plunge into electoral politics has ruffled the BJP feathers.
The BJP will not entertain an entity that would eat into their political space and hijack corruption agenda – which they believe would be the main electoral fodder for the 2014 general elections.
That apprehension was visible during an interview BJP president Ntin Gadkari gave to a news channel on Friday. “Our alternative cannot be Anna Hazare.
The alternative to one political party is another party. The alternative to Congress is BJP,” Gadkari remarked when questioned on Team Anna’s decision to join politics.
Team Anna core member and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan was more categorical in stating that the BJP moved away from mass movement after they started attacking them and also due to the decision that they may launch a political party.
“If we go for elections, the common supporters will vote for us, instead of them. That is why the BJP is not happy and Congress is very happy,” Bhushan told Deccan Herald on Saturday.
Gadkari refutes claim
Gadkari, however, gave a different take when asked their sudden indifferent attitude towards Team Anna when they began their fast again at the Jantar Mantar this time.
He said the party did not support the social activists because they did not seek the party’s support.
It can be recalled that last August, the BJP leaders — Gopinath Munde, Ananth Kumar, Varun Gandhi and Dilip Gandhi — had beelined to show their solidarity with Anna by walking up the stage at the Ramlila Ground.