Suddenly, Anna says fasting a ‘waste of time’
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With the government refusing to play ball, Team Anna announced today that they would end their "indefinite" fast at 5 pm tomorrow — the tenth day of the protest — even as they indicated that they wanted to play a more active political role.
Addressing his supporters today, Anna Hazare said: "It is another two years to go to polls in 2014. We have to go to the people throughout the country in the next one-and-a-half years. Why waste time on fasts?"
Unlike their earlier protests, the latest fast was marked by low turnout.
"It is time for us to think of an alternative. We want a political alternative. But I will not launch or join a party. People should decide who should be given tickets and how to achieve that alternative system," said Hazare.
Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan sought responses from the people in the next 48 hours on a "political alternative". Sources in the core committee said while Hazare is opposed to the idea of launching a party, some like Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal have been pushing for it since February.
A tweet on the team's official Janlokpal handle asked people to reply "yes" or "no" on whether they should "provide a political alternative to the country".
However, differences within the members on the issue were apparent. Within hours of Bhushan's statement seeking feedback from the people, an e-mail from Chandramohan, representative of the Chennai India Against Corruption (IAC) chapter in the core committee, was circulated among a section of IAC members questioning the Delhi-centric decision-making process. "If going political is what we want, then why even go through this. I certainly don't want Annaji or others to suffer in this fast but this is a protest without any clear strategy. It feels like we were just going through the motions and just given up," said the e-mail.
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