Swaraj Abhiyan not to get into electoral politics yet: Prashant Bhushan

Kolkata, Jan 31 (IANS) Calling for a mass movement to ensure democratic and electoral reforms, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan on Sunday however said his organisation has no immediate intention to enter electoral politics.

Addressing a public meet here on “Fighting corruption through electoral reforms”, he also attacked the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal for “betraying the peoples’ aspirations”.
There has been speculation that the Swaraj Abhiyan, set up by expelled Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Yogendra Yadav and Bhushan, may contest the 2017 Punjab assembly polls. But Bhushan ruled it out for now.
“We have always said that Swaraj Abhiyan was not an apolitical organisation. But before entering electoral politics, we will have to achieve our target of ensuring our organisation works as a democratic, transparent and accountable manner.
“We have no immediate intentions of setting up a political party,” he said, adding they have been advocating democratic and electoral reforms, “so only when we are able to lead a mass movement or a nationwide campaign, it is possible that we may become a political outfit”.
“Even if we do form a political outfit, Swaraj Abhiyan will continue to be a non-electoral organization,” he said.
Bhushan said like the entire country, Bengal too is looking for an alternative in the political spectrum.
“Unfortunately, like all other parties the Trinamool too is now known for corruption, unaccountability and for using muscle and money power. It has betrayed the peoples’ aspirations for a change and like the entire country, they (people of Bengal) too are looking for an alterative polity,” he said.
Ridiculing the AAP for taking the political path, Bhushan said electoral reforms can be ensured through a mass movement.
“It’s a myth that you need to be in power… that you need to float a party and win elections to bring in reforms. We all can see how the AAP has now become a party identical to all the rest of the parties which are known for being undemocratic and unaccountable,” he claimed.
“Only when there will be a mass movement, we can expect of having democratic reforms and electoral reforms,” he said at the meeting attended by several rights and social activists.