How Anna Hazare is ensuring that a ‘second’ Kejriwal doesn’t emerge from his future movements
New Delhi, Jan 16: Veteran activist from Maharashtra Anna Hazare and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal share an unusual relationship. It was under the shadow of Hazare, Kejriwal grew his political wings.
During the 2011 anti-corruption movement, both attained national fame as the two main faces behind the protest which spread across the country.
While after a few months, Kejriwal floated his own political party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and joined electoral politics, Hazare quietly went back to his spartan life in the obscurity of his village, Ralegan Siddhi, in Maharashtra.
Since then things went wrong between Hazare and Kejriwal. Hazare was seen as the political guru of Kejriwal. The Delhi CM's "love" for electoral politics created a chasm between the two. On several occasions in the past, Hazare has openly criticised his former pupil Kejriwal.
Now, as Hazare is all set to hold an agitation in the national capital on March 23 on Lokpal and other issues, the army man-turned-activist stated that he won't allow another Kejriwal like a politician to emerge from his future movements.
"No, it will never happen again, I will make sure. I was not very alert then but now before joining me, a person has to give an affidavit saying they won't join any political party or fight elections," Hazare told ANI on being asked if a leader like Kejriwal will come out of his movement again.
No it will never happen again,I will make sure. I was not very alert then but now before joining me person has to give affidavit saying they won't join any political party or fight elections: Anna Hazare on being asked if a leader like Kejriwal will come out of his movement again pic.twitter.com/aPCnJRaHL6— ANI (@ANI) January 15, 2018
The party-driven electoral system has fomented social ills like corruption, casteism and violence in the country, anti-graft crusader on Monday alleged even as he strongly pitched for removal of party symbols in polling exercises.
Addressing a gathering at a seminar at New Delhi, the 80-year-old veteran social activist added, "Various parties have vitiated the atmosphere in colleges and universities by opening their wings, and led the youth astray."
According to the Constitution, any person above a certain age can fight elections and it does not talk of any party or party symbol, he said. "So, we must do away with it, only then the democracy will come in the truest sense. And, a candidate's name and face are enough," Hazare added.
Dressed in his trademark starched white dhoti-kurta and Gandhi topi, the Maharashtra-born activist, said he was contemplating undertaking a journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to "awaken the masses to exert pressure on the Election Commission to jettison the party symbol system".
Hazare's latest attempt to cleanse the system is coming more than a year before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Hazare and his colleagues played a crucial role during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by raising the issue of corruption.
It is said that scams during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government were the main reasons behind the victory of the current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the last General elections.