Kejriwal says he will not use IAC tag after he names his party on November 26
Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday threatened to go on another fast if the government failed to pass a strong Lokpal Bill before the 2014 general elections.
The activist inaugurated his new office at Sarvodaya Enclave here and addressed volunteers on the plans to take forward the fight against corruption and to demand electoral reforms and de-centralisation of power.
His team, however, signalled its complete split with Arvind Kejriwal by declaring that it would continue its fight against corruption under the banner of India Against Corruption (IAC). In a way, it debarred Mr. Kejriwal and his team from using the name IAC. Earlier, Mr. Hazare asked Mr. Kejriwal not to use his name and photo for his election campaign.
Responding to the development, Mr. Kejriwal said on his tweet that he and his team would not use the title India Against Corruption after they announced their party’s name on November 26.
The issue came up because after opening his new office, Mr. Hazare took the decision that they would collect funds and donations under the banner of the IAC — a name propped up for the Hazare-Kejriwal joint battle against corruption.
Sources said that when the issue came up after the formation of the coordination committee, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar said the name (of the movement) should not be made an issue, but Kiran Bedi and some others felt that the name should remain with Mr. Hazare and his team.
To his volunteers, Mr. Hazare said that though he had taken the decision not to go on fast (as his health does not permit him), he would perforce have to take recourse to it if a strong and effective Lokpal was not set up.
Charging the Prime Minister with “betrayal,” Mr. Hazare said he had been assured during his Ramlila Ground fast that Parliament passed a resolution incorporating his demands. “We do not support the government version of the Bill,” he declared.
Without naming Mr. Kejriwal who split with him on the issue of contesting elections, Mr. Hazare advised his supporters not to enter into a “squabble” with opponents.
“We have split, but I believe both paths are necessary. We think politics is not our way. [But] we will not be enemies… The fight to bring systemic changes in the country would take 20 to 25 years and one should be prepared for it,” he said.
On Saturday, Mr. Hazare and others formed a coordination committee, which had members from the erstwhile core committee. These include Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar, Kiran Bedi, Sunita Godra, Akhil Gogoi, Arvind Gaur and Rakesh Rafique. Among the new names are Vishambhar Chaudhary, Avinash Dharamadhikari, Bijendra Khokhar, Akshay Kumar, Shivendra Singh Chauhan and Shashi Kant. Most of the nominees are handpicked by Mr. Hazare.
The former Army Chief, V.K. Singh, will be a special invitee.