Anna meeting on future plans today at ‘secret’ venue in Pune

Anna Hazare will meet with activists representing various movements in Maharashtra in an undisclosed location here on Tuesday to deliberate on strategies

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune | Published: September 18, 2012 12:47 am

Anna Hazare will meet with activists representing various movements in Maharashtra in an undisclosed location here on Tuesday to deliberate on strategies to take forward his anti-corruption movement without floating a political party. His aides said the meeting will be held at the residence of an Anna associate from 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm but did not reveal the location.

Hazare will follow it up with another meeting on Wednesday in Delhi,to be attended by former colleagues in the now-defunct core committee of India Against Corruption. He will fly to Delhi after the Pune meet.

Aides in his village Ralegan Siddhi said most activists Anna had invited to be included in his Margadarshak Samiti (advisory committee) confirmed their participation for Tuesday’s meeting,while some would not make it.

Avinash Dharmadhikari,political commentator and former IAS officer,said he would attend.

“The agenda is to brainstorm on the future of the apolitical movement. An apolitical anti-corruption movement is important for democracy but formation of a political party will create a big problem for the movement,” said Dharmadhikari.

Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar said she was intimated of the meeting by Hazare aide Suresh Pathare but a flood in the Narmada basin forced a change of plan. “Suresh Pathare called me four-five days ago and I agreed to attend. We feel an apolitical movement is more important. I had to cancel my plans due to the emergency situation here,” she said from Navgam.

Activist Vishwambhar Chowdhari said,“After the Jantar Mantar announcement to float a political party,activists are divided into two streams,one wanting to join politics and the other desiring to continue the apolitical movement. The new team,preparations for which are on at the primary stage,will take forward the apolitical movement. Unlike in the past,we would take along various people associated with different causes to broadbase the movement.”

Several others,while confirming Hazare’s men had contacted them for the meeting,said they had no idea whether they would be included in any new team of Anna.

Dr Abhay Bang,recipient of the Magsaysay Award for his work in the field of rural health,said he was contacted by Hazare’s assistant and asked if he could attend the meeting. “I had some other commitments. I expressed my inability to be present. So far,I haven’t received any written communication from Anna’s office inviting me to join his team. So I think it would be improper to comment on joining or not,” said Bang.

National convener of the National Alliance of People’s Movement Suniti S R confirmed her participation but said she,too,had not received any written invite to join his ‘team’. Activists Narendra Dhabholkar,Surekha Dalwi,Ulka Mahajan,Alauddin Sheikh,Suniti S R,Bhau Torsekar,and Jaywant Matkar will attend he meet,said sources in Ralegan Siddhi.

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