Hazare announces new team, nationwide anti-corruption campaign

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 15:00 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Two months after Team Anna was disbanded, Anna Hazare Saturday announced a new 13-member team and said he would start a nationwide campaign against corruption from Jan 30 next year, the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Hazare also termed as "misinformation" reports that his team had ended. "Our campaign has never stopped, we are taking it forward," he said.

"We have formed a 13-member team which will give a push to the movement," Hazare said.

Hazare announced his new team after a meeting with Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar and some former Team Anna members at Maharashtra Sadan here.

He also said that former army chief Gen V.K. Singh is not a member of his team, but the two were in touch.

"Today (Saturday) there was a meeting among 13 old members of our group. Soon there will be a national campaign against corruption. I will start a nationwide tour from Jan 30, 2013," Hazare told reporters after the meeting.

The activist also said he will inaugurate his new office at Sarvodaya Enclave in south Delhi Sunday.

Hazare's new team comes as his former protege Arvind Kejriwal has been holding a spate of press conferences to "reveal" alleged corruption in high places.

Hazare announced that his movement would fight for a Jan Lokpal bill, against FDI and criminalisation of politics.

"Corruption and system overhaul will be our focus. Our movement hasn't weakened, it will be even tougher. There is rampant corruption because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is under government control. We had a five-hour long meeting to chart out the future. We need to unite the country against corruption, we need to launch a revolution to change the system," he said.

Hazare also said he would not accept the UPA government's Lokpal bill to set up an ombudsman.

"We will not accept the government's version of Lokpal. People should have right to reject. We need to unite the country against corruption. We need a Jan Lokpal Bill by 2014, we need a revolution to change the system," said Hazare.

Hazare said that he would stop the entry of foreign companies into India.

"Foreign companies must be stopped from entering the country. Farmers are facing the brunt - lathicharge and police firing - as the government gives out land to the foreign companies. Gram sabhas should be given more powers and the right to decide on land acquisition. Privatisation of water and electricity cannot be allowed," he said.

Former Supreme Court judge and a member of the old team, N. Santosh Hedge could not attended the meeting due to "personal reasons", Hazare said.

"The team members would be increased to 55. They will get training and be tasked to mobilse the people for the movement in several parts of the country," he said.

"This movement is back. This movement won't stop until our investigating agencies become independent and non-participant," said Bedi.

"We aren't for Jan Lokpal alone, we need a mass movement," she added.

On Sep 19, Hazare had announced breakup of the former team and from key associate Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of forming a political party. He had also directed that his photographs or name should not be used for political campaigning.

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