Anna Hazare wakes up to 2014: Fast ‘waste of time’
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With the government refusing to play ball, Team Anna today decided to end their "indefinite" fast at 5 pm on Friday — the tenth day of the protest — even as they announced their "historic decision" to "give the country a political alternative".
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 poor turnout.
"I do not think the government has the intention of taking strong steps against corruption. Many people are asking me to give an alternative. Now I think that they are right and it is time to give the country an alternative," he said. "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."
Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan sought responses from the people within the next 48 hours on a "political alternative". Sources in the core committee said while Hazare is opposed to the idea of launching a political party, some like Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal have been pushing for it since February.
"Do you think Team Anna should give the people a political alternative? Reply yes, no or can't say," tweeted India Against Corruption (IAC) from the team's official Janlokpal handle.
However, differences within the members on the issue were apparent. Core committee member Santosh Hegde raised questions on the contours of the proposed "political alternative". "If any decision was taken in the core committee on this, I am not aware of it," he said.
While Kiran Bedi asked people to "vote with their brains", Kumar Vishwas said the question of whether IAC should launch a political party is "an open debate".
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