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Jul 28, 2012, 04.13 PM IST
Putting rumours and speculation to rest, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Saturday said that he would not contest elections or form a political party.
"I will neither contest elections, nor form a political party. In fact, if I survive this fast, I will roam the country and look for genuine people. If I find some, they will be trained and their names put on the Internet. After scrutiny, we will ask them to contest elections and I will campaign for them," said Anna who reached his venue of protest, the Jantar Mantar, early on Saturday morning.
"The government deceives us each time. Under the Congress or the BJP, this country has no future. Things will not change under them," he continued.
"I will fight for the Lokpal Bill till I am alive. I am not happy to fast all the time. But I am forced because of the betrayals by the government," he said.
In an exclusive interview with IBN 18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai on Friday, the activist had said that he would consider joining politics if the people wanted him to. "If people say that Anna should enter politics, then I could think about it," he said. He, however, was quick to add that he would not fight elections but support a political party that would be launched by someone willing to fight against corruption.
"I will not go into politics but I will give a political alternative to the people. I will not fight in elections. But if anyone fighting against corruption launches a political party, I will support it. I think the people are ready for an honest candidate," he said.
In Delhi for his agitation for a Special Investigation Team to probe 15 ministers of the UPA government whom he alleges to be corrupt, Anna's recent protests have seen minimal crowd attendance.
The activist admitted in the interview that he too had begun to feel that the enthusiasm amongst the people for fight against corruption was beginning to wane.
"People are coming to me and saying that only fasting or protest will not help and that I should give an alternative. But I do not think so right now," he said.
"The government too has been laggard in bringing in the Lokpal Bill. It has been two years since our protest for a strong Lokpal Bill began. May be the time has come to look at an alternative. But I still hope that the government will introduce it."
He further said that the Lokpal Bill was, is and will always be the primary demand of India Against Corruption. "First Lokpal and then inquiry against the 15 corrupt ministers... The main issue is the Lokpal Bill."
He further accused "the 15 ministers" of stalling the progress on the Lokpal Bill.
He said, however, that the mere removal of the 15 ministers would not put an end to corruption and that a concerted effort was needed to root it out. "For the benefit of the people and the country, everyone should come together and fight against corruption," he said. "I do not think that any political party, be it the Congress, the BJP or the Left, is serious about fighting against corruption. I feel it is now time to give them a political alternative," he added.
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