| VK Singh and Anna Hazare at the rally in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Distancing himself from India Against Corruption (IAC), social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday launched a new outfit — Jantantra Morcha — to fight for the people’s right.
“In place of IAC, I have decided to form a nationwide organisation which will fight and work for the cause of common man,” he said at Gandhi Maidan, virtually dismantling IAC, in which Arvind Kejriwal played a key role. He also stressed that Morcha would not contest any election.
Addressing a motley crowd, Anna said: “The decision to start our new journey from Patna should not come as a surprise. Bihar is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Bihar is the land of JP and Bihar is also the land of Gautam Buddha, who attained enlightenment here. It is a pious land.”
Taking the oath to serve the nation, he said: “We will form such a country where justice to the poor, farmers and labourers would be the top priorities. The society would not be based on caste and religion. There would not be any discrimination. It will be one India.”
Criticising the Centre, Anna said: “We have to eliminate corruption from the country. Jan Lokpal bill lao, nahi to jao (implement Jan Lokpal bill, or go). These people cannot implement this bill because they are corrupt. In the Lok Sabha, 163 MPs are corrupt. Goons are going to Assembly and Parliament. There should be right to recall and right to reject.”
Emphasising on youth power, Anna said: “I do not need 120 crore people. Six crore youths are enough for me to bring a change in India.”
Anna’s close aide Kiran Bedi used the platform to release her new book Uprising 2011. It is a compilation of paper cutting, stories, cartoons and photographs of Anna movement.
Describing the features of Jantantra Morcha, former army chief General V.K. Singh said its focus would be on making new health, education and employment policies.
Without naming Sadaquat Ashram, the state headquarters of the Congress, Singh said: “There is illegal land acquisition at Digha and Rajiv Nagar.” Chief minister Nitish Kumar, meanwhile, hailed Anna and his rally.