New Delhi, Aug 3 (IBNS): Social activist Anna Hazare is expected to end his his hunger strike against corruption at 5pm on Friday, even as his campaign seemed to head towards evolving into a political movement.
Hazare and his aides sought public opinion on Thursday whether or not to forge a political side to contest the 2014 general elections.
With his right wrist full of raakhis, Hazare said that he and his supporting activists, nicknamed Team Anna,want feedback within 48 hours on whether they should form a political party and announced they will end their fast on Friday at 5 pm.
"There is nothing wrong with forming a party...we need to provide an alternative to the people. The public's interest has to be safeguarded," the 75-year-old said, speaking at the Jantar Mantar teeming with tricolor-waving supporters.
“If a political party needs to be formed to bring change in the country, then so be it. It is another two years to go to polls in 2014. We have to go to people throughout the country in the next one-and-half years," Hazare said.
"Why waste time on fasts? Tomorrow at 5 pm, all fast will end," said the self-styled Gandhian who had shot to fame with hunger strikes demanding a strong Lokpal Bill last year, that drew thousands of people.
Amid deteriorating health of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, the indefinite fast by the group entered its ninth day on Thursday.
For Hazare it was the fifth day of his fast.
"Today people need political alternative. I will not enter politics. I will fight from outside," Hazare said.
Kejriwal said: "Our movement is to bring a change in the system. It is not for changing the government."
"This government is deaf and mute. They do not want to pass the Lokpal Bill," Kejriwal said.
"All parties are corrupt," he said.
Meanwhile, reacting to Team Anna's decision, Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters: “If they call off their fast, it is a good thing. Do not hold government to ransom. They have made their point and accusing the government of not bringing the Lokpal is not true."
Reacting on the political alternative, she said: "We were saying this from the first day that Team Anna is inspired by politics. It's good that their intentions are out in the open."
Meanwhile, a group prominent people including former Army chief VK Singh wrote to Team Anna and urged them to call off the indefinite fast.
Actor Anupam Kher visited the Anna group at Jantar Mantar on Thursday and urged them to end the fast.
Anna and his supporters launched yet another indefinite hunger strike in the national capital, to mount pressure on the embattled Congress-led coalition government to introduce a strong Lokpal Bill.