New Delhi: Anna Hazare Monday denied any differences with ex-teammate Arvind Kejriwal even as the two spelt out their different paths — the former to forge ahead with a non-political movement against corruption and the latter to announce formation of a political party Tuesday.
Addressing newspersons in the capital, Hazare said he had no differences with Kejriwal over the latter’s decision to go political and reiterated that no one could use his name or photograph for any political campaigning.
Hazare, who met Kejriwal earlier in the day, also suggested that his former teammate should fight elections against “that man from Chandni Chowk, what is his name… Kapil Sibal”.
Hazare said he had full confidence in Kejriwal and would campaign for him if he contested against Sibal.
Telecommunications and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal represents Chandni Chowk constituency in parliament.
“If he fights against Sibal I will go and campaign for him,” Hazare announced.
He explained that Sibal was “the first one to object to the Jan Lokpal bill”.
“He said how can outsiders be in the joint committee (on Lokpal). I told him when the country became a republic, people became the ruler of the country and he was just a servant. Then he was enlightened a bit. It is not good for such people to be in the government,” Hazare said.
Kejriwal, who is set to launch his political party on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary Tuesday, also denied any rift with Hazare.
“Our ways are different, but our destination is the same. I have told Anna that I will support him in all his movements,” Kejriwal told reporters after meeting Hazare in the morning.
He blamed the media for trying to project a rift between the two.
“There is no fight. Our relationship and communication will continue, we will keep meeting,” said Kejriwal, adding that Hazare would not join his political party.
“He has already said that he will not be part of it as he thinks politics is not the right direction,” Kejriwal said.
Hazare arrived in Delhi Sunday to meet activists to decide the future course of action in the campaign against corruption.
Hazare maintains that politics cannot combat corruption.
Hazare and Kejriwal parted ways last month and Hazare banned use of his name or photograph by any political outfit.
Kejriwal was a key member of the Hazare-led Team Anna that launched a spirited campaign for a stringent anti-corruption Lokpal bill.
Hazare was all praise for Kejriwal saying he had found no fault in him so far.
“So far, I have not found any faults in Arvind. He has sacrificed his family life to serve society,” he said.
“It is not right to say he is driven by personal ambition. Whatever he has done, he has done for the society, there is no selfishness,” said Hazare.
“I have no differences with Arvind… Why should we have any differences? They want to contest elections, I don’t,” he said.
“If I had to come to politics, I would have first fought gram panchayat elections. I never wanted to join politics. But there is no debate, no difference, our aim is the same,” said Hazare.
He also said that if he liked any of the candidates Kejriwal fielded, he would campaign for them.
Talking about his future plans for a non-political movement against corruption, the veteran said they have got lakhs of letters from people offering to volunteer for the movement.
Hazare has announced he would be recruiting volunteers from all over the country for his anti-corruption movement and form national and state level committees.
“We have retired colonels, IPS, IAS officers willing to volunteer. We will conduct interviews and create national and state level committees,” he announced.