Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare admitted on Tuesday that there were differences between him and social activist Arvind Kejriwal and made it clear he would not be a part of any political party.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting with social activists here, he said Mr. Kejriwal was free to form a political party. “I have decided not to fight elections or to be part of any political party. But Arvind is free to form a party.”
However, aware that the change in stand would affect the image of the Jan Lokpal movement, he said, “We have differences. But they are not like the differences in political parties. We are taking different paths towards the same goal [of corruption-free India]. He will do what he can do, and I will do what I can.”
Mr. Hazare said: “I have already declared I will not fight elections. I have chosen a different path.”
After breaking his 10-day fast at Jantar Mantar in August, Mr. Hazare said he would support the political party to be floated by his teammates.
On August 6, he disbanded Team Anna through a blog-post and cast doubts on the prospects of a party, arguing that many issues, from selection of right people to ensuring that candidates were incorruptible, would be a challenge.
At a press conference he addressed with Mr. Kejriwal earlier this month, he said people should decide whether Team Anna members should form a party and contest elections.
On Tuesday, Mr. Hazare reiterated that people should decide which candidates they should support.
“Whoever contesting elections should have a clean background and believe in service to the nation.”
Distancing himself from a political party Mr. Kejriwal may float, he said: “I will not support all the candidates fielded by Arvind’s party. If I feel some candidate is clean and deserves backing, I will provide it. People should decide for themselves.”