Santosh Hegde wants to 'keep Anna's identity separate from elections'
Bangalore, Aug 3 (ANI): Former Karnataka Lokayukta and Team Anna member Santosh Hegde on Friday said anybody with a clean background is open to jump into the electoral race, but added that one must not link veteran social activist Anna Hazare with the elections for he was not in favour of floating a political party.
Hegde said Team Anna members could participate in the elections if they so desired.
"Anna team members if they want to contest, let them contest. And such of us who know the antecedents of that candidate can certainly support that candidate. But since Anna is not forming a party, then I think we got to keep the identity of Anna separate from elections," he said.
Hegde, however, said the biggest question at the moment was the number of good people having the capability to contest elections.
"That's why, my view is that if there are good people, may be in Anna team or any other team, who want to contest election, who have the necessary infrastructure to fight corruption and if they are honest, clean people who are capable of changing the political system in this country then I think anybody can support that candidate. But it should not go under the banner of Anna," he said.
Hegde further said an immediate change in the nation's politics and style of governance was the need of the hour,
"The present situation demands a system by which good people should enter politics," he said.
Anna Hazare yesterday said that he and his team members would end their fast at 5 p.m. on Friday, and added that his aides want feedback within 48 hours on whether they should form a political party.
Asserting that power should rest with the people in a true democracy, Hazare reiterated that there is nothing wrong in forming a political party.
Hazare said power should be with the people of the country.
"In a true democracy, power should be in the hands of the people. The power must be given to the public. Village land, village water belongs to the village. There is a government in Delhi, but in the village, we are the government. Village has the right over coal, water in the village," he said.
Hazare asked his supporters to dislodge those leaders, who don't give in to people's demand.
He, however, said that he himself would not enter politics.
"I will not get into politics. I will fight from the outside. You have to think who goes into a party. Do they have a good character? Such people only should be given a ticket. If you want to change the nation, form a party. But see who is going into that party. How will you monitor them? You have to think about that," said Hazare.
"The people who ask for your votes, whether they are right or wrong, should be monitored," he added.
The 75-year-old social activist also reiterated that the government is not serious on bringing a strong anti-graft bill to combat rampant corruption in the country.
The government, however, hit back at Team Anna, saying they have always been power-hungry and must contest elections to prove its claim of representing the will of the people.
The standoff between the UPA and Team Anna intensified after the latter demanded the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of retired judges of Supreme and High Courts, to probe charges of corruption against 15 cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister. (ANI)
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