As per the trustees of Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (BVJA), the anti-corruption outfit headed by Anna Hazare, the BVJA has nothing to do with the activist’s endorsement of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. The constitution of BVJA is such, they said, that it can’t have any political inclination. They said the trust will remain apolitical in the elections, despite its head having endorsed a party.
The outfit, established by Anna in 1997 to fight graft, has eight other trustees. Ashok Sabban, secretary of BVJA, told The Indian Express, “Anna has decided to support Mamata and campaign for TMC. This decision was taken by him individually and others in BVJA are not bound by this decision. The constitution of the BVJA is such that it can never have any political inclination.”
Alauddin Shaikh, another trustee and former secretary, said the issue of supporting a political party was never deliberated upon at any of the meetings of the BVJA. “It is clearly a personal decision. Next month we are having a meeting, probably the issue will be taken up for discussion informally,” he said.
Another trustee, who did not wish to be named, said the feeling among Anna’s associates was that instead of supporting a particular political party, Anna should have continued with BVJA’s policy of supporting good candidates irrespective of the political party. “The decision came as a shock to everybody as he has never supported a single political party throughout his career,” the trustee said.
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Earlier this month, Anna had declared that he supports Banerjee as the prime ministerial nominee and that the he would campaign for her party candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.