Sunday, October 09, 2011

Are Anna’s saffron colours showing

Are Anna’s saffron colours showing?
The Anna tamasha is far from over. As elections approach — the Hisar bypoll in the Haryana is 
slated for October 13 — Hazare and his team have begun to mount pressure again on the Congress led UPA.
Firing his latest salvo, Hazare has threatened that he would ask the voters not to vote for the Congress in the coming assembly polls.

Hazare has consistently denied all links with the lotus brigade. He and his “brain”, Arvind Kejriwal had repeatedly claimed that they were far removed from politics and political outfits. Yet finally, is the cat was out of the bag, when none other than the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat comes out in open and reveals Sangh’s support to Hazare? “We actively participate in such agitations that are in the interest of the nation and the people in particular,” Bhagwat declared during his Dasara speech. He was emphatic that a change in government was a pre-requisite for a change in society, a thought which Hazare has been echoing.
“The Dasara speech of Bhagwat vindicates what I had been saying all along that the campaigns of Baba Ramdev and Hazare were planned, engineered and organised by the RSS. I still hold that view,” Congress leader, Digvijay Singh hit back. For the Congress, these are testing times. The party is not merely reeling from allegations of corruption, an internal squabble among its top ministers is taking its toll. Insiders admit that if the CBI is let loose on one particular top minister who is in the eye of the storm, he might be forced to put in his papers. Ominous portents for a ruling party,that is already fighting with its back against the wall.
For the BJP and the Sangh, the timing could not be more perfect. They have put the government on the mat and are poised to force a snap poll. Except, as the BJP functionary admitted: “The problem with us is, we still do not have a PM candidate to offer to the voters. Advani is a spent force.” Modi’s attempt to project himself is being resisted by the top leadership within the party. What we need is a mascot to rally the people against the Congress, which is only marginally ahead of us on the leadership issue.”
He also said revealingly: “Who could be a better man to threaten the Congress than Hazare? We have extended all possible support to him and his team. The Sangh is backing him ,” adding in lieu of their own man, “Hazare is our best bet.”
In fact, Hazare, who started his movement on the Lokpal bill platform is diversifying rapidly. He has added electoral reforms, judicial reforms and a slew of other issues to his kitty. The Gandhian has also gone hi-tech in his campaign against the Congress. Hazare has released a CD called The Government of the Corrupt as his team kicked off the campaign against the Congress for the forthcoming Hisar Lok Sabha by-polls.
All eyes are on the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Unlike the Lok Sabha polls where the Congress showed signs of revival and the BJP continued to totter, the Congress may be fighting its corner but it still has to factor in the fact that the main battle is still between the SP and the BSP.
From October 16, Hazare’s team is all set to launch a “Jan Yatra” asking people “not to vote for political parties, which do not support Lokpal Bill”. The BJP chief, Nitin Gadkari has already sent a letter to Hazare in support of the contentious Lokpal legislation. Stretching the canvas, the team is also expected to present the crusader’s views on the Bundelkhand issue. Bundelkhand issue has been closely associated with AICC general secretary, Rahul Gandhi. Mr Gandhi has also pushed for a package of `7 crore for the development of the region. He is expected to visit the region shortly.
Speculation is rife that Hazare is all set to throw his weight behind the Bundelkhand Congress, an outfit launched by actor-turned-political activist Raja Bundela. With migration rate of 63% and 590 reported cases of suicides, Bundlekhand has witnessed a fierce turf war between the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress over the past four years.
The CPI(M) led by Prakash Karat is grabbing at everything to destabilise Congress led ruling UPA. However, one of the constituents of the red brotherhood, CPI is far more sceptical of Hazare’s intentions and links. CPI national secretary, D. Raja wondered why Hazare has to clarify his links with the BJP and RSS time and again. Talking about Hazare’s movement he had gone on record saying — “I do not think he has any clarity. I do not know who are the people advising him.”
Some relevant points were also raised by Raja. “Unlike us, Hazare has nothing to say on price rise, inflation, neo-liberal economic policies of the Congress.” Congress bloomers and economic policies, which have hit the middle class, have helped Hazare rise in the national political scenario. Hazare has repeatedly claimed that he has no political ambition. But Hazare also said: “If I get good people, I will ask them to fight elections.”
Question is, who are these good people, where can he find them, what is his definition of “good people.” It is also being asked that if Hazare is asking the voters not to vote for Congress, whom should they vote for?
And more interestingly, some members of civil society are also saying: “Hazare’s saffron colours are showing.”

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