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Anna to hunt for model MPs

New Delhi, July 28: Anna Hazare today said he would soon launch a countrywide search for candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha election as the nation was not safe in the hands of the two main political parties.

The activist, who said his fast would be a “do-or-die” one, asserted he would not join politics but would campaign for candidates selected by him, his team and the people of India.

But team-member Arvind Kejriwal appealed to Hazare not to go on fast given his poor health. “His health is not well. We lost Mahatma Gandhi at a wrong time, we lost Jaiprakash Narayan early and we cannot afford to lose Anna now. I request Anna not to fast.”

Outlining his plans for 2014, Hazare said if “good people” did not enter Parliament, there would be no change in the system and the country would not get a strong Lokpal.

“For a vote, Rs 15,000, Rs 20,000, Rs 30,000 are given (to voters). Those who get elected are making money and they don’t know where to keep this money. So they send it to foreign countries. Now it is time to awaken voters,” Hazare said.

“Some are saying that we should give an alternative, we should form a party. About Rs 15-20 crore is spent by a candidate for Assembly elections and Rs 50 crore for Lok Sabha polls. I will not fight elections. I will not put up a party.”

But he would tour the country urging people to select election candidates, Hazare said. His team would then probe the candidates’ background, put their names on the Internet and seek people’s opinion.

“From them, we will put up some people for election. I will campaign for them and tell voters that this is a good candidate and we need good people in Parliament... the country’s future is not safe with the Congress and the BJP,” Hazare said.

More people turned up to listen to Hazare and his team members at Jantar Mantar today compared to the last three days. Hazare and Kejriwal spoke in a similar vein on the low turnout, attacking political parties and the media. Kejriwal said the media allegedly lacked the courage to highlight the “flop shows” of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.

“People say Anna has flopped. There is a design to make Anna flop. Corrupt people are hoping that Anna flops. If Anna flops, the country will flop,” Kejriwal said.

Hazare noted: “The colour of your spectacle determines the colour you see. People are saying there is no crowd. But truth does not need crowd. We have not brought anyone here. I challenge Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to bring at least half of this crowd without arranging trucks and buses for people.”