Former Karnataka Lokayukta and Team Anna member Santosh Hegde on Friday said he does not support Anna Hazare and his team floating a political party, but would campaign for candidates who identify themselves with his movement against corruption.
“I don’t support Anna Hazare and his team starting a political party. But I have heard Anna speaking on TV that he is neither forming a party nor contesting elections, but may support people wanting to contest elections whom he knows will help the cause of fight against corruption and bring about political change in the country,” he told reporters here.
Mr. Hegde said Mr. Hazare’s identity is not of a politician but one who wants to bring about social change. “I think he should continue to be like that. Anna is not meant for forming a political party,” he added.
He, however, said he did not have any reservations if Team Team Anna contests elections, provided they don’t seek support from political parties involved in corruption.
“If Team Anna members want to contest, let them do so. If we know the candidates’ antecedents, then there is no harm in supporting them. They should have a clean image and fight elections individually without any support from political parties involved in corruption,” he said.
Mr. Hegde said corruption cannot be eradicated unless there is change in the legislative system and attitude of people in the legislature. “Therefore we got to have a good system through which good people enter politics,” he added.
“Then there are questions arising as to availability of that many people who have capacity to fight an election and bring about a change in the legislature. For this I have no answer. That is why my view is that if there are good people, may be from Team Anna or any other team, they can be supported, but it should not be done under Anna’s banner.”
To a query, Mr. Hegde said Team Anna should keep the protest going, but not necessarily by fasting.
“We should stage short protests in different parts of the country, especially in rural areas and bring about awareness among people about the harm of corruption and resultant repercussion on the economy. We can do that,” he said.
“In the next election the issue will be one of corruption, not caste or community,” he said.