New Delhi: Two months after Team Anna was disbanded, social activist Anna Hazare Saturday announced a new 15-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 reports that his team had ended as “misinformation”.
“Our campaign has never stopped, we are taking it forward. We have formed a 15-member team which will give a push to the movement,” Hazare said.
He announced his new team after a meeting Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar and some former Team Anna members at Maharashtra Sadan here.
The new faces in the committee are former Director General of Police (Punjab) Shashikant, former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari, Lt Col Brijendra Khokhar, Ran Singh Arya, activist Akshay Kumar and agriculture expert Vishambhar Chaudhary.
Hazare added that former army chief General (retd) V.K. Singh is not a member of his team, but the two were in touch.
“Today (Saturday) there was a meeting among 13 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 would 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: “We will not accept the (UPA) government’s version of Lokpal. People should have the 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 added: “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 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, Justice N. Santosh Hedge and Dharmadhikari 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. We are not for Jan Lokpal alone, we need a mass movement,” Bedi said.
On Sep 19, Hazare had announced his the disbanding of the Team Anna and had parted ways with 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.