Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said that the Congress Party and its coalition partners need to keep a watch on the political aspirations of civil society activist Anna Hazare and his associates.
Responding to a question on whether any party would benefit from Team Anna's political debut, Pawar said: "We don't know about the benefits, but, I feel that the Congress Party and its allies are the targets. Hence we will have to be on our guard."
He further said that Anna Hazare's initiative to cleanse and reform the federal system could bear fruits, since the movement had earned mass appeal across the country.
"It is a good thing that Hazare's team had decided to join the political set up, I appreciate it. There will be two advantages of this - they will stay in touch with people and their problems. If you want to strengthen a political party, you have to initiate dialogue with the people. It is good that their leadership has decided to travel the entire country for this purpose," added Pawar.
However, he mocked at Hazare and his associates by saying they would have to learn much before entering the political arena and contest in the polls.
"We would like to observe their results over the next few elections so that we can get new ideas. Everybody is getting to learn something new," said Pawar.
Team Anna members, who ended their hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday, announced then that they would be forming a political party, which will contest the 2014 elections.
Hazare, however, said that he will not run for office, but will support his aides. Team Anna declared that people would decide on their candidates and fund their elections.
"We will have to throw this government out. It is a long fight. This is not a party. It will be a movement from the streets to Parliament. Parliament has to be purified. There will be no high command. People will decide the candidates and they will fund it," said Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal.
"What should be the name of the party? What should be the structure of the party? All these, we want your suggestions," he added. Kejriwal further said they will not draft manifesto in air-conditioned rooms, but would go around the country to know about the difficulties faced by the people.
Team Anna's declaration, however, marked a transformation of their movement, which began as an anti-corruption crusade 16 months ago for a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. (ANI)