Before taking the plunge in 2014 general elections, the erstwhile Team Anna is likely to test political waters first in next year's Delhi Assembly polls while giving a miss to elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
Sources in India Against Corruption (IAC) said a large number of volunteers pitched in for fighting the Delhi Assembly elections first in a meeting yesterday. This could mean the activists, who decided to turn their anti-graft movement into a political one, will give a miss to the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
The sources said the volunteers raised the demand at a meeting yesterday attended by Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai among others. Mr Kejriwal told volunteers that their first focus will be on Congress-ruled Delhi. He also asked volunteers to start working in all the 70 constituencies in Delhi, they said. Sources say, they are focussing on Delhi Assembly elections with the hope that if they do well, it will give them a better platform for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The decision early this month to take a political plunge had created a rift in the Team Anna with a section of members like Santosh Hegde opposing it.
There were also claims from a section of the team that Anna Hazare was not keen to take a political plunge but was forced by some of his colleagues, an allegation denied by Mr Kejriwal.
Though it had made clear its intention to have a shot at power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an anti-corruption plank, the team had not talked about contesting the assembly elections slated this year-end.
Anna Hazare and his team have been targeting the UPA government on Lokpal issue for the past 16 months but were earlier undecided whether they would target the BJP governments in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh this year-end and Karnataka next year by contesting elections there.
The erstwhile Team Anna had talked about a political alternative which they had claimed will be people-centric. Defending its decision to go political, they had said their numerous protests and fasts did not yield any result as the government stonewalled their demands and showed little interest in bringing those guilty of big scams to book.