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Updated: September 12, 2011 09:22 IST

Team Anna to undertake yatras, referendum on Jan Lokpal Bill

Amruta Byatnal
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Social activist Anna Hazare. File photo
Social activist Anna Hazare. File photo

The activists said houses of members of the Standing Committee who oppose the Jan Lokpal Bill would be gheraoed.

Taking the Jan Lokpal agitation further, Team Anna will now undertake a referendum and yatras to ensure that the people are aware of their elected representatives' performance and their stand on the Jan Lokpal Bill.

These steps will ensure that the people hold the MPs accountable, Team Anna's core committee members said at the end of the two-day meeting held at Ralegan Siddhi over the weekend.

Team Anna will also serve defamation notice on people who have made false allegations against the movement and tried to defame the core committee members, senior lawyer and core committee member Prashant Bhushan said at a press conference here on Sunday.

“Some newspapers and magazines have published articles that defame the core committee members, and are misguiding people. [Congress leader] Digvijay Singh has been saying that the Jan Lokpal Movement is backed by the RSS. We will serve defamation notice on such people and ask for an apology,” Mr Bhushan said.

The notice will also be served on Bhuwar Singh Meghvanshi, who is associated with Aruna Roy's organisation Majdur Kisan Shakti Sangathan, for making wrong allegations against another core committee member Arvind Kejriwal's father. “An article written by Meghvanshi in a magazine states that my father is associated with the RSS and has close connections with [BJP leader] L.K. Advani. This is not true at all,” Mr Kejriwal said, without naming the magazine.

Mr. Hazare said the Union Cabinet could not handle his movement without the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “There are five or six Ministers in the Cabinet who all want to be the Prime Minister. There was no coordination among the Ministers.”

Explaining the movement's strategies for the effective promotion of the Jan Lokpal Bill, Mr. Kejriwal said: “A referendum will be undertaken, asking the people to answer yes or no to the statement, ‘I will not re-elect the politicians who will oppose the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.' The referendum will be conducted in the next two months, before the winter session of Parliament, in constituencies of the Standing Committee members and those of important political party leaders.” Team Anna's next step would be to undertake yatras in the States going to the Assemble elections, informing the people of the stand of the different parties on the Bill. “We will inform the people, putting forth the ideas of the political parties. So, they can decide who to vote for,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Mr. Hazare would also take part in the yatra along with other core committee members. Reiterating his stand on MPs opposing the Bill, he said: “I will myself undertake propaganda against the MPs who are against the Bill in the yatra. I am not afraid of anything.”

Asked whether the yatras would translate into support for the BJP that is also undertaking a yatra against corruption, Mr. Kejriwal said: “I don't think it will result in support for any political party. Our yatra is for the Jan Lokpal Bill. The BJP's is anti-corruption. Anyone can talk against corruption.”

“We are a non-party and non-electoral political movement. Corruption is a political issue,” added Medha Patkar, another core committee member.


Team Anna will appoint a three-member committee of retired judges of the Supreme Court or the High Court, which will investigate cases of corruption against its members and the movement. “We will appoint the committee and ensure that the members of the committee are unbiased and honest,” Mr. Prashant Bhushan said. The Public Cause of Research Foundation, which launched the India Against Corruption movement, would release, by October 15, a special audit of the expenditure of the entire movement, from April 1, 2011 to September 30, 2011. The core committee members would also declare their assets by then, Mr. Kejriwal said.

The youths who took part in the Jan Lokpal Movement were now asking ‘What do we do next?' Ms. Patkar said. They should form small groups and target corruption in local administration. “Take up the resolution not to support corruption in anyway,” she appealed to them.

The core committee members said Team Anna would try to unite all organisations that participated in the movement.

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i fully agree with the fact that only law cannot remove corruption. Something more than that in terms of social ethics is needed to minimise the monstrous effect of it. All the same the campaign has without scepticism contributed a lot towards creating awareness on an enormous scale. I would like Team Anna begin his yatra from Karnataka which has become a den of corruption. by doing this it can also establish credentials beyond political fallout which has come to the fore in the students union elections of JNU.

from:  PROF.B Gangadharamurthy
Posted on: Sep 21, 2011 at 11:10 IST

This is a good move to keep the issue progressing. People in this country have poor memory and could forget things fast, when there are other political developments. While team Anna is working to get the Lok Pal bill passed, there is a need to make people conscious of not getting in to Corruption. For decades we as Indians have accepted Corruption as a part of our existance in this democracy. The money power rules and it is very important for citizens like us to come out of Corruption. There are dis-advantages. Corruption in this country starts with a Government employee coming every day to every house hold, to collect Garbage. They collect monthly fee. If we refuse to pay then our house may stink. 'Are we geared up for this fight' and push the local corporation to do their Job. It is easy to blame others and i think corruption can only be eliminated if every citizen of this country consciously leads his / her life without bribing others. JAI HIND.

from:  Shreenivassan KC
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 20:50 IST

Team Anna has done a commendable job by propagating the ideals in particular against corruption and carried their movement to the urban middle class. A lot needs to be done to convey their message to the rural poor who are the worst affected due to corruption. They should take the message in simple lay man language so that the whole India will rise against corruption. simple slogans in regional languages against giving and accepting bribe should be coined.

from:  subramanian.k
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 16:07 IST

Corruption can not be eradicated by bunch of Tata/Ambaani/Jindaal wards; It is these big business houses who corrupt politicians and bureacrates worldwide in the Capitalist system. Once the system blows over they accuse politicians and start grooming another one to escape puplic wrath. They cannot bring out any change unless a total cultural revolution headed and controlled by committed left oriented philosopher.

Anna group will, at the most brain wash some urban riches but can not
undertake a total revolution

from:  Ajaathasathru
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 14:23 IST

Referendum is OK, but in the immediate future we should concentrate on two things:
1. Get 49-0 affected in the Election Rules
2. Canvass along with Anna team in states going in for elections to exercise the right to say "None of the above".
As for Mr. BalaKishore Revu's point, I don't think it is essential to be a politician to be political

from:  Major Promod Kapur
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 14:01 IST

The arguments that the civil society members should contest elections, is never acceptable.
There is no need of any Indian to stand in elections to raise their voice against corruption. Changing a law or framing a new law should always be in the complete interest of the BILLION+ Indians and not just the 500+ MPs. I would recommend/support the civil society members to continue their Janlokpal campaign as normal unelected citizen -- for that would give us more belief that a common man can have his opinion accounted in making/changing laws!

from:  Mukundan Raman
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 13:48 IST

The youths who took part in the Jan Lokpal Movement were now asking ‘What do we do next?' Ms. Patkar said Do these youth have nothing better to do?Real "nation" building is done in the schools,colleges, farms, factories and hospitals of society.Education and hard work is what society needs,not sloganeering and relay hunger strikes.It is one thing to be part of a mass movement for a few days,it is another to be a "permanent revolutionary"(as Sharad Yadav put it).Hazare criticizes some ministers in wanting to be prime Minister?What is wrong with that?Every trainee wants to be a manager,every manager aspires to be CEO.It is but natural that people crave for leadership.Are they any different from him?Hazare and his stooges want to build some sort of a parallel power structure.Is that not their ultimate ambition?The truth is that they're just a bunch of publicity mongering megalomaniacs.

from:  Benjamin D.
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 13:16 IST

Mr.Balkrishore is talking like a misguiding Politician. Election is not the solution of the Persent evil in the society.we all know how the elections are fought and won? Every indian has got right to put his opinion through their elected representative ,provided the pay the attention. Unfortunately they have failed in their DUTY as promised during the election and one need not to waight for another 5years to raise the issue. This is the best and rightway for every common citizen to raise their issue in the interest of one and all country men. Please Stop critisizing like the shameless politician instead be part of this Movement for the betterment of Next generation.

from:  Ramprakash Poddar
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 12:59 IST

Team Anna should stop talking referendums. This is just a futile exercise, an imperfect one and if they do it, its not helping their/our case. However, other means like rallies should be organized to gather mass momentum. 1 rally per state for next 30 days. Also high time they should expand the team. May be not the core team, but extended team with representation of all states. This is required, because govt has too many voices and higher power to crush if they just remain limited to 4-5 members.

from:  Mandeep Singh Brar
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 12:58 IST

There is a common point in between Digvijay Singh and Arvind Kejriwal; both are stating that RSS is a Sinister and Sinner organization. Digi Raja stating it overtly and Kejriwal stating it covertly.
What wrong in it if a RSS member or a member of the RSS family if living his life without any corruption and wage a war against corruption?
There is no need for Kejriwal to respond to the so called allegations of Digvijay Singh. With his response Kejriwal also committed to intimidate lakhs of RSS youth who have participated in the Anna Movement.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 12:34 IST

If they really mean to gherao houses of those members of the Standing Committee opposing the Jan Lokpal Bill, they are going too far. Everyone is entitled to their opinion in a democracy and that include MPs, politicians or anyone else for that matter. Voting on a particular bill is the prerogative of the parliamentarians and they must not be coerced into voting in favour of a bill regardless of the nobility of the cause espoused therein. Our present batch of MPs might be corrupt, to use the term of generalization, but the parliament is a sacred institution and by marginalizing its role and dictating laws from the street Team Anna is trying to set a dangerous precedent which is bound to have grave consequences for our democratic future.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 11:14 IST

Anna team says regarding "cases of corruption against its members and the movement" that “We will appoint the committee and ensure that the members of the committee are unbiased and honest". What would be Anna team's response if Congress party says about cases of corruption against its ministers or other leaders that the Congress party will appoint a committee to find the truth and ensure that the members of the committee are unbiased and honest?

from:  George Varghese
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 11:11 IST

My question to team Anna, Who is financing this? Do they have party funds? It seems to me that they want run a parallel govt. This is creating dangerous precidence. I would also like to know whether Mr. Hazare gets salary for his effort. He is always wearing smart clothes travelling in luxry, but his pension can't support that.

from:  dev Sen
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 11:00 IST

What point are they making by telling that they are a non political group. They should stand in elections , win and change law in a constitutional manner .

from:  BalaKishore Revu
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 10:30 IST

The Congress,some other comparatively small political parties and a small section of the media seem to think that a people's movement as distinct from election-oriented political activity and discussions in parliament and State legislatures, has no legitimate role in a democratic polity such as ours. Fortunately this self-serving view on people's movements, such as the Anna Hazare movement,doesn't seem to have been accepted by the general public and most of the country's opinion makers. Having realised this, the vested interests which are shaken to the core by the anti-corruption sentiment seen across the country are busy creating a rift between the anti-corruption movement launched by the civil society and the anti-corruption yatra slated to be launched by the largest opposition party,the BJP. In a situation where the corrupt are running for cover, one wouldn't expect good sense to prevail among them.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 10:18 IST

I don't understand why Anna Hazare wishes to give a rope to a criminal and ask him to hang himself?

He can as well direct the movement towards mid term elections.Even in these elections,corruption only wins again. That is why people should be educated that they should not yield to the corrupt practice once and get rid of their miserable lot by electing a better Government for their good future.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 09:43 IST

Why not wed press the government to have a real referendum on Jan Lok
pal bill and electoral reforms?

Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 08:37 IST

This effort to educate the masses against corrupt and inefficient MPs and MLAs should be an ongoing programme till we get MPs and MLAs who know how to behave in the Lok Sabha or Assembly. These establishments are meant to be used for debates and not for goonda type dances. In fact every elected representative should know the Constitution and the IPC. It would be ideal if they could pass a test on this prior to being nominated.
Today, no useful work is done in these law making bodies. Laws are passed without suitable debates and many laws are forgotten due to lack of interest. Law makers should first respect the laws of the land and behave as responsible citizens in the LOK SABHA AND IN THE ASSEMBLIES. Then only will they command the respect of the people and will not require a Z Security.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 07:34 IST

This is a great movement that must be supported by Indians, through "srama dan" in every city.

from:  Mohan
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 06:23 IST

Medha Patkar took yatra to push the report on dams prepared by her group on behalf of World Bank -- Hazare worked for them in the watershed programme, which is a part of the anti-dam report; and now Hazare wants take yatra to thrust his jana lokpal on Indian people. It is a pity, we Indians have to be dicated by such groups.

from:  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 06:17 IST

Anna's way is the only way to fight against ineffective political and corrupt administrative system. Forming political party or supporting political party won't do any good. if Anna forms political party ,it will go the same way as others.congress went same way BJP is going same way and all. First there should be a system to handle these parties then they themselves will behave. Otherwise no political party like to slap his own face.

from:  Bahader
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 03:23 IST

i fully endorse the action plan. Particularly the concept of educating youth to form small groups in their locality and promote anti corruption movement and spread awareness about local Councilers, MLAs and MPs.

from:  Ajay Mittal
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 01:41 IST

The strategies outlined above to try and involve everyone, or as many citizens throughout the country as possible, in the Jan Lokpal proposals in a transparent and democratic way, seem like excellent ideas, which should also satisfy all those critics who had been worrying that maybe the lack of proof of public support in their view meant to them that a handful of citizens could have been subverting democracy, or usurping the powers of elected representatives, etc.
Surely, it is now the duty of everyone in favour of democracy to participate in this process and express their views. Is this not a cause that every politician and all media should support? At worst, it can only strengthen democracy in India!!

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Sep 12, 2011 at 01:30 IST
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