Kejriwal needs Anna more than ever, now

New Delhi :  In a significant move, in which are embedded interesting possibilities, Aam Admi founder Arvind Kejriwal will on Thursday visit Ralegan Siddhi, where his one-time mentor Anna Hazare is on a hunger strike.

Kejriwal needs Anna more than ever, now

“We salute Anna ji’s campaign, we support him completely,” the main protagonist of last week’s Delhi election said on Wednesday evening.

Anna is agitating for passage of the Lokpal Bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

Political observers, however, see in Kejriwal’s visit more than a courtesy call. They point out that the Aam Admi Party will need Anna as a mascot, if it wants to emerge as a party with a pan-Indian identity. At least, Hazare will help them extend their footprint in parts of western India. But for that to happen there has to be some kind of reconciliation between him and Kejriwal.

Hazare has been out of the civil movement mainstream after Kejriwal decided to launch the Aam Aadmi Party. Anna was firm that he did not want to be associated with a political organization. The buzz is that there were also differences over management of funds raised during Anna’s rally.

Anna and Kejriwal had in 2011 engineered a huge anti-graft movement that electrified middle India. The apogee of the campaign was a 16-day fast by Anna in Delhi, which drew thousands of people every day, and resulted in street protests in other cities.

As Anna’s health deteriorated, a shaken Parliament agreed to urgently introduce the new law. It cleared the Lok Sabha, but flopped in the Rajya Sabha.

A version amended by a parliamentary panel will have to be introduced and passed by the Rajya Sabha and then the Lok Sabha. So far, this session of Parliament has seen no business being transacted.

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