Battle for IAC: Anna says Kejriwal's team should get a new name

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov. 11 -- Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday announced a new-look "apolitical" team that included some of his old colleagues who did not join former aide Arvind Kejriwal's political outfit. However, he wasn't too keen to give up the 'India Against Corruption' tag, which is now synonymous with Arvind Kejriwal's group.

"They (Arvind Kejriwal) moved out, they must get a new name," Hazare said, while addressing the media on Saturday.

He further said, he would like to avoid a confrontation with Kejriwal's party. "I would take the title if Kejriwal chooses to give it," the activist added.

Former army chief General VK Singh, however, is yet to formally join the group.

"Today, there was a meeting among 13 old members of our group for over five hours. Soon, there will be a national campaign against corruption. I will start a nationwide tour from January 30, 2013," Hazare said.

Asked whether he had invited General Singh to the meeting, Hazare replied: "I had sent an invite to General Singh, but he could not attend due to some problem. He will meet me later."

The first list of committee members did not include the names of activists PV Rajagopal, Rajinder and Devender Sharma, who were associated with the erstwhile Team Anna.

Hazare, however, announced the constitution of a 15-member coordination committee, which included Justice Santosh Hegde, Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar and Akhil Gogoi.

Former Punjab police chief Shashikant and former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari were the new faces in the team.

Hazare said that within a month, the coordination committee would be expanded through the inclusion of around 40 additional members.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.