Team Anna to undertake yatras, referendum on Jan Lokpal Bill

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

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:07 pm IST

Published - September 11, 2011 06:52 pm IST - Ralegan Siddhi

Social activist Anna Hazare. File photo

Social activist Anna Hazare. File photo

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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