As Uttarakhand goes to polls on Monday, Anna Hazare on Thursday commended the state government for making a "strong" Lokayukta law and asked voters in other poll-bound states to demand an affidavit from parties that they will pass a similar legislation.
In an eight-minute video appeal to voters, Hazare said he was happy that Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri had brought a "very strong" Lokayukta law in his state but attacked the UPA government saying it does not have the "intention" to bring a strong anti-corruption legislation. Incidentally, BJP leader Khanduri is the only politician named by the 74-year-old activist in his eight-minute address in which he said he could not travel to the poll-bound states due to health concerns.
"A strong Lokpal Bill has to be enacted, it is very important. We were after the government for the past one year. It does not have the intention. It does not have the intention to have a corruption-free India.
"For the first time, a strong law has been passed in Uttarakhand. What is a strong law, you will see in that? My appeal to you all is that you vote for anyone you want but ask them whether they are ready to pass a strong Lokayukta Bill on the lines of the strong legislation in Uttarakhand," he said.
Hazare said electorate should ask the candidates to sign an affidavit saying that once voted to power, they will bring a strong law.
"I am very happy that the Chief Minister (Khanduri) has brought a strong law," he said.
After a number of people present at the seminar raised the question as to why Team Anna does not enter electoral politics, Prashant Bhushan said it was not possible in the present system.
"In the present circumstances the system is such that it requires a lot of money power to establish a nation wide party, and not only honesty and promise of clean politics.
"This is the reason we are asking to transform the system to reduce the power of representatives and increase the say of the people in making policies, so that people are then able to chose on the basis of policies.
"We are trying to build up an organisation slowly on the grassroots but unless we are in a position where we can command crores of people on the streets on a major issue, we will not talk electoral politics," he said.
When probed further on whether the organisation they are building would be looking to get into electoral politics in the future, he replied in the negative.
"The organisation will not be for fighting elections". He said the laws in the country are being made under the influence of corporates without consultation from people, and the organisation will work on the social level.
Asked if the team's expansion would see some old faces being sidelined, he said, "There is no such plan as yet".