Eighteen months after they came together to launch their anti-corruption movement,Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal officially parted ways today. Opposing the decision of the Kejriwal-led group to form a political party,Hazare barred them from using his name or photograph.
Speaking to mediapersons at the end of the nine-hour meeting,Hazare said: There is nothing wrong with fielding a political party but I will not be a part of it. It has my blessings and we will work towards the common goal of eradicating corruption. If they feel they can get a majority,it is a good thing,but they cannot use my photo or my name… The paths have been separated.
Late in the night,Hazare met yoga guru Ramdev. However,no details were available on their meeting.
Hazare also rejected the referendum carried out by India Against Corruption (IAC) which reported huge support in favour of a political party. I will tour the country and awaken the people… It is our misfortune that despite our best efforts the team is breaking up. I do not agree with the way the referendum was conducted,if the verdict was so clear,why call this meeting at all? he said.
Hazare was flanked by Kejriwal,who refused to answer questions,and Kiran Bedi. According to IAC sources,of the 45 people who attended todays meeting,only eight members opposed a political option,including Hazare,Bedi and Justice Santosh Hegde.
Earlier,Kejriwal had said that they would not launch a party without Hazares support. However,he declined to answer questions on this issue today.
Avoiding any reference to the meeting,Kejriwal later tweeted: Country is on sale. It is passing through very difficult phase. I will do everything possible for me to save my country.
Seeming to voice Team Kejriwals stand,Giriraj Kishore,former registrar of IIT-Kanpur,said: There are allegations that we exploited Anna. The fact of the matter is that people who are accused of that have also made Anna Anna.
Bedi tweeted: Feel Anna was being expected to support political option when he was never inclined. Was it a case of misjudgement on the part of some?