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Kejriwal, Anna tread different paths

New Delhi, Nov 11, 2012, DHNS: 1:54 IST
Social activist Anna Hazare speaks during a press conference after a meeting of his core committee at Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI
Anna Hazare on Sunday indicated that he and erstwhile fellow activist Arvind Kejriwal were pursuing different paths, albeit towards the same goal.

“Yes, our team has split,” he said while addressing his volunteers during the inauguration of his team’s office at Sarvoday Enclave in south Delhi.

But he hastened to add: “But I believe both paths are necessary. We thought that politics is not our way. We will not be enemies. A volunteer can choose his path. They should be clear in their mind. It should not be that they change minds frequently."

Both Hazare and Kejriwal have aso declared their intention to avoid confrontation. While Kejriwal has agreed not to use the banner of India Against Corruption, Anna has recognised Kejriwal’s movement as another way of fighting corruption. However, both are separately working to carve out bigger organisational bases for themselves.

Hazare chose the occasion to declare rejuvenation of his Lokpal movement and warned the government that he would undertake another fast if it did did not make Lokpal a reality.

He threatened to sit on fast again if the government does not come out with a strong Lokpal Bill before the 2014 elections.

Hazare said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had “betrayed” him on the Jan Lokpal Bill as he had pledged to pass the Bill in Parliament but had not done so.

“If no such promise was given by the prime minister, I would not have broken my fast. He gave his word, and I broke the fast. He has cheated me. If the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed before the 2014 polls, we will hold another rally at Ramlila Maidan,” he said.

Hazare also spelt out the course of movement, “Everybody wants to join our movement. We will train 50 volunteers in each state. Another 40 people will join us in a month.

“Anna will tour the country. We will hold state conferences. One of such conferences is going to be organized at end of this month in Kerala.”

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